Improve Patient Trust Through Dialogue

May 30, 2019 7:52:00 AM

in Customer Service, Blog

Trust can be very difficult to regain once that bond has been broken. In the healthcare industry trust is imperative to the patient experience. When someone goes to a doctor or selects an insurance company, they are relaying on them as professionals to guide them in the right direction. It’s human nature to be concerned when dealing with elements of risk and vulnerability. Since patients are given the opportunity to be involve in decisions affecting their health, doctors, pharmacists and insurance specialists need to ensure they are advising the patient correctly and sharing the decision-making process. Trust is a fragile concept when it comes to healthcare. So, how do you earn trust when dealing with such a personal situation? Here are a few tips to get you headed down the right path with your patients.

#1 Establish Credibility

Patients are already dealing with a sensitive situation when it comes to their health needs. If they have to repeat themselves, they clearly are losing confidence in your ability to assist them. Active listening and competence in knowledge are both ways to build credibility. By giving the patient undivided attention your healthcare specialists are able address the concerns the first time instead of causing additional stress to the patient. As your specialist and patient dialogue it’s important to create a clear link between the patient need and provide an accurate solution without creating doubt.

#2 Communicate Clearly

When there’s a lack of knowledge or uncertainty miscommunication can occur between the patient and healthcare specialists. If the patient did not understand what the specialist meant, that confusion could lead to follow-on contacts. One way to avoid this is for healthcare specialists to use dialogue techniques—such as adapting vocal delivery through vocal emphasis, perception checking, and engaging in active listening practices. Patients should feel they are being listened to and given information in a considerate, non-judgmental way; this will help create a trusted relationship. 

#3 Ask Insightful Questions

Teaching your healthcare specialists to address certain assumptions is key during conversation. This can eliminate further anxiety with the patient which happens due to frequent call backs or additional effort because issues were not address in earlier interactions. Specialists should have proper training that helps them identify the root cause of the issue. When trained in dialogue, specialists realize that asking insightful questions is essential to first-time resolution.

#4 Make it Easy for Patients

Generally, patients contact your health specialists’ multiple times if next steps were not clearly addressed within the conversation. So how do you prevent this from happening? Healthcare specialists should use perspective to anticipate future patient effort given their training and experience with the issues. Providing additional information before the end of the call helps the specialists empower the patient to better handle frequent encountered situations.

Next Steps

Your patients are more likely to disclose information when they trust you, which ultimately improves the quality of the interaction. When trust is present patients have a better perception about the care they are receiving. This leads to higher patient autonomy and a more partnered approach to making decisions about one’s health journey. To learn more about creating better relationships with your patients, visit our website at and fill out the Contact Us form.