The Ida Institute takes on common misconceptions about the challenges of integrating a patient-centered approach into day-to-day clinic practice in a new “Mythbusters” section. Based on a combination of research findings and the real-world experience of private and public clinicians, the new section demonstrates the benefits of patient-centeredness for both patients and practitioners and debunks myths that inhibit more widespread adoption of patient-centered care.
“As part of our mission to foster a better understanding of the human dynamics associated with hearing loss, the Ida Institute has developed a tool box of practical skills and tools that can affect positive change to more patient-centered care,” says Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Yet, in spite of the implementation of Ida tools and methods in many public and private clinics, some hearing care professionals are cautious about the practical application of a patient-centered approach in a busy clinic. With Mythbusters, we aim to help clinicians understand the professional and business value of making patient-centeredness the core of their hearing care practice.”
Mythbusters details key aspects of a patient-centered approach including shared decision making, enhanced interaction between patient and practitioner, more sustainable, long-term solutions and increased patient satisfaction. The website also notes that implementing patient-centered care requires no large expenditures, beyond initial staff training, and ultimately lowers operating costs by increasing patient satisfaction and reducing return rates. For clinic staff, the enhanced interaction with patients can lead to increased workplace satisfaction.
Top Four Myths Deconstructed
Insightful commentary by practicing professionals, videos and research highlights help to clarify the ways in which patient-centered care impacts the patient-practitioner relationship and the clinic’s bottom line.
Takes Too Much Time
Shared decision making, a hallmark of patient-centered care, ensures that the patient and clinician are equal partners in developing a strategy for moving forward. This collaborative interaction helps patients to feel that their needs and preferences are respected and facilitates their ownership and buy in to the strategy. Research indicates that patient-centered care can increase the effectiveness of appointments and decrease return rates and– saving valuable clinic time.
Not Cost Effective
Beyond an investment in training costs, patient-centered care is basically free. Implementing patient-centered care methods does not require large expenditures on technology, equipment, or facilities. But it can increase patient satisfaction and improve care at a low cost. And, by reducing return rates, clinics have more time to see new patients.
Too Much Focus on Emotions
An empathic response allows the patient to feel validated and understood, creating the foundation for a trusting therapeutic alliance. Research has shown that the practitioner’s empathy is the most influential ingredient in building stronger relationships and enhances patient satisfaction and compliance.
Patients are Already Satisfied
Providing the best service and running a profitable private clinic requires more than simply reducing complaints. Patient-centered care has been shown to increase patient satisfaction. A satisfied patient is not only a loyal patient who will return in the future, but one who can benefit a practice through word-of-mouth referrals.