Healthcare News & Insights

Increase trust in your hospital and providers

Trust is the foundation of the relationship between providers and patients. Quality patient care can’t be achieved if patients don’t trust providers or other staff members. And since patient care is hospitals’ top priority, that can be a problem. 

If you want patients to keep coming back to your hospital and receiving exemplary service, you’ll want to focus your efforts on learning where there are gaps in trust and how those gaps can be fixed.

When patients trust their doctors, they’re more likely to return for regular appointments, which cuts down on hospitalizations, readmissions and emergency department visits.

However, the New York Times reports that only 34% of Americans have great confidence in medical leaders, which presents a significant problem. Patients who don’t trust their doctors are less likely to adhere to medications or follow a provider’s advice about harmful behaviors.

That lack of trust also impacts public health, since patients may be less willing to get flu vaccines or practice caution when federal officials warn them about epidemics or disease outbreaks.

Rebuilding trust

But don’t lose hope just yet. There are ways to rebuild trust and keep your patients coming back. The New York Times recommends providers:

To achieve these goals, your hospital could consider giving patients easier access to their own medical records via a patient portal or encouraging staff members to use simpler language when interacting with patients. Being transparent about any diagnoses or decisions that need to be made goes a long way toward making patients feel comfortable and satisfied with their care.

As telehealth becomes more widespread and facilities migrate to the cloud for data storage, patients also may worry their private info isn’t secure. Update patients on any technology changes you’re making that affect them, and be honest and up front about how their data is kept safe.

Most importantly, providers should be collaborating with patients on their care and treatment plans. Simply telling a patient to change his or her behavior without explaining why does nothing to build trust and widens the distance between doctors and patients.

Sometimes the basics of good patient care get lost in the shuffle of busy days, reimbursement worries and value-based care concerns. Remind your providers about the reason you’re all doing this work: to serve patients and keep them healthy.

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