Bridging the doctor-patient communication gap

When Mrs. Bhatia had swollen, painful knees, her physician made the correct diagnosis of osteoarthritis. While prescribing the standard course of anti-inflammatory medicines for her, he did not provide her with a list of the possible side effects. Mrs. Bhatia also did not tell her doctor that she had been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer; had he known, he would have prescribed an alternate medication.

Key Point: Happy patients mean happy doctors. Placing the doctor-patient relationship at the forefront and communicating proactively with patients will create greater patient satisfaction. Satisfied patients are one of the best ways to build your practice through world-of-mouth referrals.

The NSAIDs caused Mrs. Bhatia’s ulcer to start bleeding, leading to an emergency gastroscopy to control the symptoms. Frustrated with her doctor for not warning her of the possible side effects of the medication, Mrs. Bhatia complained to her friends and neighbors. This greatly unsettled the physician, a caring professional who felt betrayed that his reputation was being tarnished due to an unintentional communication lapse between patient and doctor.

“Patient satisfaction makes great business sense. Contented patients are the best source of new patients. This is why happy patients make for happy doctors.”
-Aniruddha Malpani, MD, medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai, India

Happy patients=happy doctors

Every doctor wants to see his or her patients get better. The strong urge to help others is often the primary driving force for choosing medicine as a profession. Medicine is the...

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