Trust. Trust is defined as the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or thing; confidence. (definition)
As a patient, we make the conscious decision to give our time (read: The Commodity of Time) to a hospital, clinic, physician, and a team of healthcare professionals that we trust.
Trust is something that we give to healthcare. Our expectation is that physicians are well versed, boarded, and well read. We trust that when we go to a hospital or clinic that we will not get hurt once we are there; we trust that it is a safe environment. We trust that the healthcare team will take the time to listen, learn, and identify what is wrong with us; we trust the team of healthcare professionals to find the best treatment for us.
As easily as patients give their trust to healthcare professionals, the healthcare team has the potential to easily damage that trust.
Whether it is not communicating with a patient, assuming that a patient wants option A instead of option B, not listening and paying attention to the story a patient is sharing, or arriving late to an appointment and leaving as quickly as possible to make up time on your schedule….all these opportunities present themselves as opportunities to diminish the level of trust patients have in our healthcare teams.
Over time, the more and more instances that negatively impact a patient without the follow up, explanation, and sincere apologies or thanks given will cause that trust to be lost.
Once we lose trust, we lose time with patients. The more time we lose with patients, the more patients we lose.
Cherish the trust that patients give to us so freely and remember to give your time to allow that trust to flourish.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek