We all know that communication is really important. But do we actually care for it? Do you as healthcare providers care about listening to your patients? The Wall Street Journal of last year highlighted an alarming fact. It said that the nurses and technicians were afraid to speak up about anything that they saw was going wrong. This is because they don’t want to annoy or disturb the physician who could be their job provider or an influencer to the business owner. Although Clinics and hospitals are doing a lot to improve communications but it seems like there is still a long way to go.
Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” gives importance to understanding people before expecting others to understand you. But very few actually listen to people according to him. it is a talent that needs to be developed among people. Especially in healthcare, where providers deal with the health of people, it becomes extremely important.
It is because of two reasons,
- Listening is extremely important because then only the doctor can treat the patient well. Without it, provider’s efforts might not produce satisfactory results.
- It is important for patient’s psychological satisfaction that he has been heard otherwise the patient might not like the overall experience of the treatment even if she gets cured.
From personal relationships, to getting the first job, making notes in classroom, figuring out which train goes to your destination or to cure your patients, listening is a skill of high significance. Listening is more than just hearing. It is an active process that involves receiving, understanding, evaluating, remembering, and responding.
I have seen or been caught up in many instances where listening and understanding first helped resolve a lot of complicated problems. Although I don’t claim to have succeeded always in solving the problem, but yes listening helps. I am sure you would have been part of several such instances where listening would have helped. It will be very useful to you in problem solving at your site.
When people fail to manage, technology comes to the rescue. There are Patient relationship management software like DocMate that completely automate the doctor patient relationship and thus you can concentrate on the tasks that you like.