If you ask yes or no questions, patients might agree with you even if they don’t understand what you’re saying. Open-ended questions will get more information out of the patient.
Have an Idea of the Patient’s Literacy
Medical terminology is tough to know, but some patients come more prepared than others.
Before you begin explaining a procedure or their condition, it’s crucial you access their level of medical literacy.
If they’re too familiar with medical terms, you will need to explain to them in easier to understand terms. Or you could tell them what each term means.
The same thing goes for patients with language barriers. If the patient is not fluent, make sure you take your time explaining.
Implement Teach-Back Methods
Since most patients don’t understand every single medical term, you should make sure they do.
Ateach-back methodcan help you understand the level of understanding of your patient.
Ask them to repeat back the information you conveyed to them to ensure they understand what you said.
They should be able to let you know in their own words what they understood from the conversation.
Patient Satisfaction Survey
A great way to improve communication with your patients is by asking them how they want you to communicate with them.
You should ask them to participate in a survey after their visit so you can get feedback on your communication style.
Many patients don’t complain even if they’ve had a bad experience, so a survey can provide excellent feedback.
Leave Bias Practices at the Door
Patients can detect certain bias practices right away. You should make sure your patients can never detect negativity in the way you communicate with them.
Some patients might come in feeling self-conscious about their ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, age, or religion and it’s your job as their physician to make them feel like these stigmas don’t matter.
If you have to deliver bad news to your patient, the best way to do it is by using effective communication methods.
When delivering bad news to a patient, the way you communicate can make a difference.