Public perception of providers may have been recently tainted by some of the new guidelines set forth by the government, which expose too much information about their financial data and even their relationships with vendors. Regardless of what is exposed, providers must continue to work on boosting patient trust and gathering as much information as possible about their patients’ experience with their care.
In a recent survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, results yielded how difficult it is for Americans to provide their true opinion of their healthcare Providers. Surprisingly, about only half of Americans reported that they would be confident in finding a Specialist via quality information available to them. This leaves them discouraged about the choices they will make in choosing their providers and increasing the public mistrust in the medical industry as a whole.
In this Survey, findings show that patients find more quality in the provider’s personality, their interaction with them and not so much the care they provide. Surprised? Eighteen percent of patients even went on to explain that they mainly look for providers who listen and pay close attention to their concerns. They perceived this through providers showing interest and treating them as individuals, and not so much as ‘patients’. Providers can address this concern by becoming more personable through their conversations with patients and providing them assurance that they are also individuals who have worries and concerns of their own. Finding ways to empathize with patients will help boost provider’s care to be more patient centered, versus condition.
Another finding showed that 3/10 patients do not trust quality rating of providers, that are available through traditional marketing campaigns. Patients mainly trusted word of mouth or recommendations from other physicians. With such an astonishing finding, providers should rethink the way they market their services and try to simplify to a more ‘modern’ approach. This can be achieved via social media, videos posted on practice websites and creating surveys to assess how patients came to know about services offered. If most patients find out about providers through word of mouth or by searching online, it would not be cost effective to invent in billboards, ads or even commercials. Marketing strategies have to constantly be re-evaluated to address this issue.
Becoming a ‘patient-centered’ provider, through open communication and utilizing one’s interpersonal skills and passion for patient care, is one of the easiest ways that can help providers gain patients’ satisfaction. It is no doubt that patients prefer providers who can evaluate and treat their conditions suitably but in addition to this. However, gaining the trust and confidence factor will help build a life-time relationship with patients and humanize the ways providers can build referrals.