Population Health

Health System Management • January 2017

19 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM of industry experts and thought leaders focused on healthcare improvement solutions to create a culture of excellence. When providers and patients don’t communicate effectively and aren’t aligned on goals and expectations, patient outcomes —as well as the bottom line — are negatively impacted. “The No. 1 need patients want from doctors is to be respected and listened to,” Maples told Health System Management (HSM). “The key items patients are looking for in their relationships with a provider haven’t really changed. They center on: ‘Am I really being listened to? Am I really being respected? Do you really care about my health? Do you have enough time for me?’” 5 STEPS TO SUCCESS To achieve the Triple Aim of improving health and healthcare and reducing costs, implementing initiatives focused on improving safety and efficiency are only one piece of the patient-centered puzzle. Key among those components, Maples contended, is effective communication, involving listening on the provider end and building trust with patients. “We’ve lost the art of listening. We think we’re saving time because we know best,” Maples said. “On average, we interrupt our patients within 18 seconds and often change what they really want to tell us. Up to 30% of the time, we completely miss why the patient is there to see us. We need to rekindle the skill of listening, of recognizing emotion in the room and responding appropriately.”2 Building a trusting relationship with patients improves outcomes. On average, 50% of patients treated for chronic disease do not take their medicine as prescribed, a study on patient non-adherence reported.3 Often, the decision to take or skip a dose is significantly influenced by the patient-physi- Improve the Physician-Patient Relationship Why boosting communication with patients is critical to bettering healthcare “The No. 1 need patients want from doctors is to be respected and listened to.” William Maples, MD POPULATION HEALTH HEALTH SYSTEM MANAGEMENT | JANUARY | 2017 With the advent of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), health systems and hospitals across the United States are placing major emphasis on developing and nurturing patient-centered models of care. Engaging patients by incorporating their needs, values and preferences into the decision-making process is considered essential to the success of an accountable care organization (ACO).1 However, more often than not, physicians don’t necessarily understand what their patients want from them, according to William Maples, MD, chief medical officer of Professional Research Consultants (PRC) and leader of Institute for Healthcare Excellence, a PRC company providing a collaboration BY MONIQUE BARRETT Barrett is a staff writer at ADVANCE. Contact: mbarrett@advanceweb.com


Health System Management • January 2017
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