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No. 1 word in online negative hospital reviews is 'told'

Posted by Janet Kennedy @jkennedy93, Wed, Feb 20 11:51am

I would say talking "at" instead of talking "with" and remembering that patients are humans in some unfamiliar, scary circumstances. Patients and families are saying they want to be listened to, heard and have their questions answered in a way they can understand. For caregivers, health care is routine, they're comfortable in the space and the field– for the patient and family, it is the opposite. It may be a whirlwind, facing diagnoses and decisions related to the same, and they don't understand or aren't able digest the information. The caregiver is busy and leaves the room before they can ask a lot of questions. There's been other research about something as simple as having the caregiver sit at eye level with the patient helps increase understanding and perception that it's more of a partnership as opposed to someone giving an edict–even though it didn't take more of the caregiver's time.

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I think the issue isn’t so much how we talk to patients as it is why we talk to patients this way – and I will speculate part of it is because as we have increasingly digitalized the patient experience we have concurrently and inadvertently dehumanized the patient experience.

If I am right (I hope I am not) this will get progressively worse over time.

Of note, this article suggests that data analytics may be useful. Perhaps, but consider the possibility it’s these type of efforts which are also part of the problem.

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