What does better communication mean for healthcare? It means better patient care, the ability to more accurately diagnose and treat, and increased efficiencies across the entire healthcare system.
One model of communication in healthcare we like is the RESPECT model. RESPECT stands for:
- Rapport: First you build rapport with your patient and try to see the situation from their point of view. Make a conscious effort not to judge and focus on really listening and recognizing what they are and are not saying.
- Empathy: For many, their health is a hard thing to talk about. Use empathy to get your patients to trust and open up to you. Be empathetic and seek to understand the reason for their behaviours or illness.
- Support: Provide as much support as you can to develop a treatment and care plan that is manageable for the patient, including taking the time to understand any barriers that may occur in carrying out the care instructions on their own. This is where you can involve family and other caregivers. Be sure to use language that shows the patient you are there to help.
- Partnership: Be as flexible as possible in your treatment and care plans. Remind the patient that you are part of their team and you’re going to work with them to address any medical problems that arise.
- Explanations: Don’t forget that it can be overwhelming to hear the diagnosis and care instructions so be sure to check often to ensure they understand. You could ask them to repeat back the care instructions so they can hear them in their own words. This helps increase information consumption and understanding.
- Cultural Competence: Take into account the patients’ faith and cultural background. This may affect how they interpret what you say. Be sure to clarify limitations of care if they apply to religious and cultural beliefs.
- Trust: Trust should be established as early as possible and maintained throughout your relationship with the client.
The respect model of communication can work in many different professions, especially health care. In addition to maintaining professional and empathetic communications, you may need to provide or recommend a medical-grade bed mattress for your patient.
To see the comfortable medical grade mattresses we have at Essential Medical Products that are customized to the needs of your patient, check out our mattress catalogue.