The Top Mistakes Healthcare Businesses Make That Erode People’s Trust
Do you trust your doctor?
Trust in healthcare professionals is the most crucial foundation for effective patient care. Of course, you also want doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists to be fully trained and up-to-date with the latest discoveries and practices. But trust is the condition sine-qua-non doctors can help their patients. Without trust, patients are less likely to make medical appointments or even disclose their full list of symptoms during an appointment. Besides, many patients also refuse to follow prescriptions and recommendations from their doctors.
So, you can’t do without trust in the medical sector. But how much do we trust our doctors? According to the New York Times, only 34% of Americans had confidence in medical leaders in 2018. Chances are, the figure is even smaller today.
So why don’t people trust healthcare professionals?
#1. Failure to invest in new equipment
Everything that shines is precious. Medical equipment is used every day, which makes it hard to maintain its pristine and crisp new condition. Yet, one of the critical aspects of delivering quality healthcare is access to quality medical equipment.
While this doesn’t mean that tired looking equipment is ineffective, it can nevertheless undermine patients’ confidence in the healthcare provider. Therefore, whether it is about podiatry chairs or high tech scanners, patients expect healthcare businesses to stay abreast of technological advancements. Failure to invest in new equipment regularly sends the wrong message to your patients.
#2. Lack of diversity in the team
Diversity and inclusion are essential in any business. But in a public-facing sector such as healthcare, the lack of diversity can dramatically impact trust. When patients encounter a team of medical professionals who lack diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, or LGBT representation, they can feel uncomfortable and excluded.
Your patients want to feel understood and represented, which is why having a diverse team will help foster trust and empathy. It is a known fact that healthcare businesses need to actively strive to create a diverse workforce that reflects the communities they serve.
#3. Clinical decor
This might sound odd, but there is no need for a healthcare establishment to look and feel like a clinic. Far from being productive, the sterile and overly clinical decor can create an unwelcoming and stressful atmosphere for patients. This can only heighten anxiety and fear of medical procedures!
Instead, it is time for healthcare businesses to incorporate soothing color palettes, comfortable seating, and artwork that can create a positive and inviting ambience.
#4. Lack of transparent communication
Effective communication is fundamental to build trust between doctors and patients. Unfortunately, many professionals still struggle with transparent and empathetic communication.
Many patients struggle with understanding their conditions, the treatment options, and the potential risks or benefits associated with procedures. The obstacles may be multiple:
- For non-native English speakers, vocabulary and language skills can be an issue
- For people who don’t talk about their health, it can be tough to grasp some concepts
- For the neurodiverse community, the understanding of medical symptoms and treatments can be completely different
So, it is important to not only encourage open and honest communication, but also give patients more options to express themselves, through emojis, chat messages, interpreters, etc.
In conclusion, building and maintenance trust in healthcare is of paramount importance. Ultimately by recognizing and rectifying the above-mentioned mistakes, the healthcare sector can cultivate a strong foundation of trust.