Patients who have been referred to medical specialists or need various forms of treatment or tests may see multiple providers in multiple facilities. Whether those providers are part of your team or if they practice at another office, clear communication is a must to provide the best care. Use these tips and medical giveaways to help keep everyone on the same page.
The benefits of clear communication
South of the border, the average American patient sees 18.7 different doctors in their lifetime—a number that doesn’t include the nurses, physician’s assistants and all other medical professionals they interact with at every office. Here in Canada, that number may be quite similar for a significant chunk of the population, as nearly 4.8 million Canadians don’t have a regular doctor. That means ensuring all patients receive accurate and timely information is critical for:
- Better patient outcomes
- Improved patient satisfaction
- Reduced healthcare costs
Start with the patients
Best-in-class patient care starts with making certain that patients understand their diagnosis and treatment. However, studies show that patients only remember half of what their physician tells them. Help improve understanding by having the patient:
- Repeat what you’ve told them
- Summarize the discussion points
- Answer open-ended questions to ensure complete understanding of the reason(s) for their visit
You can also print out a summary of each visit and give patients doctor’s office giveaways, like notepads and pens. They can use them to take notes and bring information or questions to another specialist or physician if needed. A journal can also make it easier for patients to track their health and share information with specialists.
Perfect your handoffs
Nurses, doctors and other medical professionals frequently need to explain a patient’s situation quickly and accurately to another medical professional. One style that’s considered best practice is the SBAR method. Using this method, explain the:
- Background of the patient
- Assessment of their health
- Recommendations for treatment
If your office wants to put this method into practice (or needs a reminder to use it), have the acronym printed on a doctor’s office giveaway, like a teamwork stress reliever, to remind everyone they need to work hand-in-hand for patient care.
Combine technology with good communication practices
While electronic medical records have simplified communication, making sure medical records are up-to-date and written clearly is the most essential part of record maintenance. And, if you conduct software or legal updates, staff will likely have questions or need to learn new procedures. Schedule training sessions a few times a year to keep staff up to date on:
- Software updates
- New requirements in medical data collection
- Changes to the law
- Best practices for sharing records with other offices
Load everything to a USB drive. This medical giveaway can be updated quickly for easy access to the information they need.
Communication creates better care
Good communication among medical staff saves time and money—and it ensures patients get the best care. By keeping your team up-to-date and offering them medical giveaways, you’ll keep the lines of communication open.