As an allied healthcare provider you understand that, when working with patients, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong. And even the smallest of mistakes or misstatements can result in huge problems, even litigation.
Whether you’re an audiologist, dietitian, nutritionist, occupational therapist, optician or speech pathologist, operating an allied health business has many exposures and carries a certain level of risk.
For most people, visiting a clinic or hospital can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences one will encounter. As such, allied health professionals should be attentive to patients and make certain they are meeting their unique individual needs. As a trained paramedic, dental hygienist, phlebotomist or other allied health professional, there are certain steps necessary for you to take to ensure that the very best possible care is being provided. Here are just a few important traits that patients look for in their healthcare providers:
Highly desirable traits associated with healthcare providers
Communication is a vital part of your relationship with any patient. Your job requires great communication skills, especially when it comes to speaking and listening. The way in which you explain information to a patient is just as important as the actual information being communicated. Patients who clearly understand you are more likely to admit their ailments, helping them to carefully evaluate their treatment options, making them more apt to following directions.
It’s equally important to understand and relate to a patient’s feelings. Empathy is an important trait that you should possess. In a study published in 2011 in Academic Medicine, research suggested that when healthcare professionals respond empathetically at appropriate times, their patients tend to be happier. This can result in their being more motivated to stay on treatment.
No patient wants to visit an allied healthcare provider that has lost all passion for their chosen profession. Remind yourself why you chose this line of work and show your patients that you have a genuine passion in helping others. Exhibiting passion will not only set you apart from the rest, but it will also garner you happier, more responsive clients.
Communication is key. Miscommunication could lead to a patient’s suffering because they misunderstood, or were given unclear instructions regarding medication or treatment. Most allied healthcare providers don’t have deep pockets. If you are sued (regardless of whether or not you are at fault) defending yourself against a lawsuit can quickly drain your bank account.
If you are blamed for an error or omission that results in damage, personal injury or loss of property, can you afford a legal defense? Or worse, could you pay restitution if you’re found at fault? Be attentive and caring to your patients. It ‘s the best thing for everyone concerned.