Patient Experience Tip for November   
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Patient Experience Tip for November

The goal of the Patient Experience Tip of the Month is to be a resource to Jersey Shore’s Medical Staff on the subject of Patient Experience. All tips feature industry standard and/or peer reviewed best practices and tools to help support building strong relationships with your patients based upon compassion, respect, and trust. All tips are reviewed by Patient Experience Champions, Dr. Mohamed Bakr and Dr. Anasuya Brahmamdam, and will actively solicit proven techniques and recommendations from your own colleagues to help share proven success stories. 

November 2019 Tip of the Month: Making Emotional Connections

This month’s patient experience tip focuses on making emotional connections with patients. Emotional connections help inspire trust and better health outcomes, thus, it is critical that we go beyond just patient satisfaction and strive for patient engagement. Patient engagement is realized by connecting emotionally, listening empathetically and communicating in a way that tells our patients that we care for them, more than just their illness – and truly understanding their individual needs and desires.

Figure 1. Emotional Connections, by Industry. November 2012, by rbb Public Relations

While inevitable time restrictions can impede on making more intentional connections, here are a few simple skills that make a large difference. 

Connecting: According to daVinci, (2), taking the time to form caring relationships with patients and family members are a central tenet of medicine – and the key to their success. When patients feel they are listened to, respected, and seen as an individual, they feel they are uniquely cared for and are most amenable to comply and benefit from prescribed therapies. Connecting with the patient is an important element of the caring experience, and vital to connecting is communication!

Communicating: Communication is a “two-way” street and entails speaking and listening. To enhance your communication, listen with empathy and intent, and speak not only to give facts and medical details, but to create a connection, making them feel important. Making another person feel that they are important is essential to establishing a connection. The words, statements, and/or actions we use should include some personal components for sending the right message to those we communicate with. It is a tool for establishing a genuine relationship with patients!

Establishing an emotional connection, combined with your skills and proficiency, will differentiate how a mutual engagement is made and make a profound and meaningful impact  that is appreciated by your patients (3).

From Your Mouths: Provider Best Practices

Here’s a best practice tool provided to you by Dr. Mohamed M. Bakr, Medical Director of Hospital Medicine at Jersey Shore. 

Let your patient know that you’re taking care of them like they are your family. Use words such as ‘I am taking care of you like you are my family member."

The aforementioned statement has received much positive feedback and can be a way that you create a more profound connection with your patient.

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