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A Guide to Earning the Trust of Your Patients

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When people choose a healthcare provider, they consider myriad personal, practical, financial and emotional factors. But when they find a caregiver they can trust, everything else becomes secondary. Patient trust is closely related to better outcomes, so how can you ensure that you earn it on a regular basis?

Trust as Part of Your Brand Message

Build your reputation by telling your story truthfully and compellingly. Keep your message consistent, follow through, and make honesty and respect the foundation of the trust you develop.

Get to know your patients – and vice versa.

Ask them about their life outside of why they’re here with you. Talk about hobbies, interests and pastimes, and see if you can find common ground. People generally relax when talking about themselves. It takes their mind off discomfort and lets them focus on happy things. When the two of you think of each other as people, rather than “nurse and patient,” it strengthens your bond of trust.

Start the conversation even before they come through the door.

Before making an appointment, most patients will have researched you, your facility and/or their medical condition on line. Become their go-to information source by keeping your website relevant and up to date. This will help build their confidence in you, even before you meet them.

Address concerns proactively.

Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. They may be stressed, scared, worried or overwhelmed. To them, there’s no such thing as a “routine procedure,” unless it’s on someone else! Craft messages that present your staff as highly competent and your facility as a safe, caring and dependable place. Never downplay patients’ fear factors. Rather, use your strong brand message to alleviate them.

Create a seamless care experience.

Your patients probably neither know nor care about your company hierarchy or the ins and outs of the healthcare system. They’re just looking for good care, and they’re counting on you to provide it. How you communicate and carry out all the steps in that process is critical. Provide clear direction that helps people more through the experience quickly and intuitively.

Always be truthful.

Research has shown that 30 percent of patients lie to their providers about their healthcare habits, while 40 percent bend the truth when it comes to how closely they follow medical advice. Set the right tone by always being completely truthful about everything. Be caring, thoughtful and compassionate, but don’t sugar coat reality.

Always be respectful.

Most patients have no medical training. You’ll find yourself having to explain things fairly often. Treat them and their intelligence with respect. Never be condescending. Call patients by their name, as a sign that you actually remember and care about who they are.

Follow up and follow through.

Your patients’ well-being doesn’t end when they’re released from your care. A follow-up phone call, email or text to see how they’re doing not only makes them feel more at ease, but also lets you spot any early warning signs that might interfere with their full recovery. Also, keep any promises you made before releasing a patient, such as sending them a list of resources. Broken promises are a sure way to undermine trust and rapport.

The career counselors at Medicalpros Recruiting + Staffing will help you become the best healthcare professional you can be. We share your commitment to outstanding patient care, service and integrity. Call on us for additional resources to advance your career or find your next great opportunity.

 

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