‘Building Trust Into Telehealth’, a recent article in Harvard Business Review, outlines the relation between doctors and patients in the telemedicine space. The same applies to Dietitians, Health Coaches and other healthcare providers who are consulting online.The summary below includes key highlights for caregivers and it’s worth a read for patients seeking care online.
Trust in Relation:
Doctors are constantly meeting new patients who are expected to share private details about their bodies and worries, which is quite incredible if you think about how much trust the patient is putting into a person they’ve never met before.
Patients want to trust their doctors, and as we shift to having to communicate virtually, physicians need to know how to maintain the same level of trust with them.
We learn when they are ready to learn:
Four essential elements help establish a strong relationship with the patient: competence, logic, empathy, and reliability. It is generally easy for physicians to nail down competence with the amount of knowledge they have, but it is still important to set up your workspace so it doesn’t look messy and look into the camera to create the impression that you are making eye contact.
Patients want to know that you are listening to them comprehensively and logically. Show them that you are listening and truly want to help them overcome their problem by changing certain aspects of the way you interact with your patients. For example, instead of reading their information off a screen, you can share it and read through it with them so they are engaged as well.
Conveying empathy online can be a bit more challenging than when you meet up with them in person. Using verbal cues such as “mm-hmm” or nodding at what they are saying can help show that you are actively listening and thinking about their words. To be reliable, you should always be there when a person needs you.
Clutter free Conversation:
To avoid delays because of internet issues, it is important to check and set everything up earlier. If something does happen, try to find solutions like calling them if video conferencing is not working.
Doctors need to create trust with their patients, and it’s definitely harder online, but it’s better than nothing which is why it is so important for physicians and health coaches to put in the effort to connect with their patients.
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Understanding and applying Nutrition Series. By Candok Editorial Board, Candok Lifestyle. Live Life, Naturally!