Expressing emotions especially of care and empathy builds a long lasting relationship between two persons. When you let the patient feel that you are 100% well aware of their problems which they are experiencing and committed to their well-being, empathy can work like a medical treatment itself. This practice not only benefits the patient but it will also help you to establish a good reputation as a caring physician, which will be very helpful for growing your practice.
Empathy importance in healthcare
A successful and caring physician knows better that empathetic care
is more than simply making a diagnosis based on your patient’s signs, symptoms and medical history. Research1 shows that effective communication between physicians and patients can be mutually beneficial.
It can help patients:
- Improve emotional health
- Decrease pain
- Increase adherence to medications
It can help physicians:
- Build patient trust
- Decrease malpractice cases
- Reduce mistakes
So it is more important to explore many ways of communication in practice to increase empathy and patient engagement.
For example,offering communication on Hucu’s App rather than other Secure Messaging or Secure Video Conference services can significantly shorten wait times and allow easy personalization.
However, conveying empathy, that is, a deep understanding of the patient’s problem and frustration, over texting is challenging. It is much easier to share emotions by talking face-to-face or over the phone, filler words that convey that you’re actively listening such as ‘oh’ ‘hmm’ and ‘I see’ can help you participate in a live conversation.
While chatting, it is important to express your sincerity, interest and genuineness using the right words. Here’s where empathy statements or empathy phrases come to rescue. Empathy statements are sentences that a healthcare provider can use to address a patient’s feelings and establish a connection.
Three Different Types of Empathy to Show Your Emotion
Empathy itself is more than a mere feeling. It can be divided into three types where you understand, share, and take action to enrich the condition of the person you empathize with. Following are all three types of empathy with examples on how you can use them during messaging with patients to better understand the condition.
Cognitive empathy: The ability to understand how a person would feel in a given situation.
In Cognitive empathy you should be practicing active listening and acknowledging what patients have to say.
Emotional empathy: The ability to share the feelings and connect with a patient you empathize with. Here’s where you put yourself in your patient’s place and relate to their feelings.
For example, stating that you too would be frustrated if you were in the patient’s situation validates their discomfort on the issue.
Compassionate empathy: When you take action to soothe and comfort a patient in distress.
This is where you ask yourself what solution you would need in this situation and propose your patient with options. Explain to your patient why you’re recommending these medicines, clinical tests and why it would work best for them.
You can convey empathy over the Most Secure Messaging App Hucu’s platform and deliver the best healthcare. Below are eight tips
that you can use while engaging with the patient.
8 Tips for How to Express Empathy in Healthcare
- Be a good Listener. You have to be a good listener to solve your patients’ problems immediately as you enter the exam conversation,you may actually save time if you simply take few moments to ask questions and carefully listen to their responses.
- Make the patient feel that they are your No 1 priority. You know the feeling you get when you are trying to have an important conversation with someone and instead of looking at you directly, they are focused on what’s on their screen. That’s how your patient may feel if you’re using technology that doesn’t allow you to maintain eye contact with them
- Keep in touch even after the visit ends. Text messaging is the best way for ongoing conversations with patients and you can also easily reinforce follow-up instructions. It can also help build connections and increase patient engagement
- Stay present. During virtual visits (Secure Video Conference) don’t forget to show non-verbal cues such as nodding your head, making a sad face to show you’re really listening and feeling the pain. Time to time simple feedback like “ok” without interrupting allows your patients to fully finish expressing their feelings and complete their thoughts and shows you are engaged and truly care.
- Dig deep. Sometimes you have to insist on more details to get a patient’s true feelings. For example, a patient mentioned something casually, and waits for your reaction before continuing ,it is very important to ask questions that will keep you in touch with patient feelings, and connect them with you
- Everybody has a busy life schedule including your patients too. Nowadays everyone has a busy life regardless of whether you are a patient or physician Understanding that your patients’ time is valuable is another way of demonstrating empathy. Consider how much time patients save using online healthcare apps like Hucu.ai tele-health and more. One study5 revealed that more than 70% of patients prefer virtual visits to save time and money. If you are not currently offering a healthcare app that takes take your patients’ communication preferences into consideration, chances are that other practices in your area probably are.
- Ask for feedback. Asking for feedback through patient satisfaction surveys sent via text and email is one of the best ways to discover whether or not your practice team is empathetic. You care about their experiences and can transform satisfied patients into advocates and allow less satisfied patients an opportunity to offer private, constructive feedback.
- Increase your skills in practice. Every patient is unique, and it is not possible for every physician to demonstrate empathy in the exact same way. If you want to increase empathy with your patients, try different strategies to find what works best and seems most natural for you. Training yourself to recognize emotional and body-language cues can have a positive payoff for your patients and for your practice.