PHYSICIANS......Improving Doctor-Patient Communication

From: Helen Dynda (
Tue Mar 6 12:48:37 2001

[] Improving Doctor-Patient Communication...for Physicians


1. Do not feel threatened by patients who wish to have copies of their medical records and review them with you.

2. Encourage your patients to use one pharmacy and tell you of all other treating physicians. Review all records of all other physicians, past and present regarding each patient.

3. Spend time talking to your patients. If you are pressed for time, explain to the patient that it is not a good time and have them make an appointment later to talk about their concerns.

4. Research has shown that some physicians' patients fare much better in hospitals than others. Find out who the physicians are who have good track records with inpatient care. Encourage those physicians to hold workshops within your local medical association or society to teach the less fortunate physicians how to protect their patients from hospital mistakes.

5. Finally, let the patient know that sometimes medicine fails and it is not anyone's fault. Prepare your patients if ever there is a problem. Lastly, if there is a problem, a mistake or otherwise, tell the patient that you are sorry and explain what happened. Your malpractice insurance companies may object to this, but in the long run you will actually save them money. Most victims of poor medical results or medical mistakes would walk away from an adverse situation if only the professional would own up to a mistake and simply say they are sorry.

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