Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thank you, my patients

Thank you, my patients One of the reasons for the widening gap and the mistrust between doctors and patients is the increasing patient expectations. Patients today are aware of their rights – Right to safe medical care of good quality, right to be informed about the their disease and the treatment prescribed, right to ask questions and seek clarifications, right to privacy and confidentiality, among others. They expect the doctors to answer all their questions and want to be equal partners in decisions regarding their care. In addition to the professional care, patients expect their doctors to be compassionate and courteous to them. It may come as a surprise to many but the seeds of the doctor-patient relationship were sowed when the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was introduced. In this consumer and shop relationship, the patient is “God”. The patient is considered your asset. Every effort must be made to keep the patient happy and satisfied and maintain the relationship. In a survey conducted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on expectations of patients from their doctors, a paradigm shift was observed. About 40% of patients expected their doctors to thank them. This is a fact that we need to accept and acknowledge. The doctor-patient interaction is a major factor that influences patient satisfaction. Remember, a satisfied patient will talk about you to 10 more people but an unsatisfied patient will talk to 100 people against you. And the easiest way to get new patients is to look after your existing patients well. Always meet your patients personally, greet them shake hands with them and try to call them by name. And, at the end of the consultation, say Thank you to the patient. This is courtesy. He has trusted you with his health needs. He has reposed his faith in you by selecting you to be his doctor and treat him. So, starting from Doctor’s Day this year, we want our doctors to start saying ‘Thank you’ to their patients. Always strive to improve your CGR (character, goodwill and reputation)... Remember, success in life as a journey and not a destination. Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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