Healthcare is a business like any other, but the interactions between patient and care provider are as personal as they come. Anyone who has made a career of caring for strangers understands that patient care requires an immediate intimacy that is unique in the world of professional relationships. We are in the business of the body, and are responsible for helping patients discuss and come to terms with health issues that may be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or downright terrifying. The right approach to patient care is crucial to establishing successful patient relations and laying the groundwork for effective care. Here are five simple ways that medical assistants, nurses, and doctors can improve the patient experience.

Be Prepared For Appointments
Diligent preparation, such as collecting proper records and relevant test results, is critical in making a good impression on patients when they come for an appointment. Having pertinent information in hand when the patient arrives signals to them that they are a priority. This also can help appointments move a lot faster and stay organized.

Pay Attention
One of the biggest recurrent patient complaints is “They wouldn’t listen to me”. It is easy for patients to be made to feel dismissed or not in control of their circumstances, especially the very young and very old. Make eye contact and listen respectfully when patients are telling their story, and you will find the appointment will go much more smoothly than if the patient senses resistance.

Take Time To Answer Questions
Patients need to understand why they are receiving care, undergoing procedures, or taking specific medications. When patients move blindly through their medical care, something that happens with alarming regularity, it can lead to frustration, medication errors, or a loss of compliance. Take time to help the patient understand and be an active part of their own medical care.

Don’t Drop The Ball
Medical record errors, rescheduled appointments, or delayed treatment can seriously frustrate patients, making them question your competence. Do your due diligence when putting records and meds into a chart. If you have to pass the patient to another team member, be sure that all orders and information are in place.

Use Compassion, Always
Compassion, feelings of sympathy and the desire to alleviate suffering, is the cornerstone of healthcare. So much so, that most hospital systems, such as the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, do their best to make it a priority every day. This is a great goal for most anyone in the medical field. Patients want to feel, above all else, that you care about what happens to them. Using a compassionate approach to your patient’s needs will dramatically improve their experience.

When it comes to the medical field taking care of your patients should be a number one priority. You want to make sure that you are doing all that you can to make them feel welcomed and comfortable. By doing that you can build a lot of good relationships and make a really good impression.

Author's Bio: 

Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2