Empathy in a clinical context is the doctor’s ability to understand patients’ emotions, which can facilitate more accurate diagnoses and also improve treatment. A doctor should make his/her patient comfortable and listen to their opinions and concerns. Building empathy towards patient is crucial to gain their trust. Unless a patient trusts or feels comfortable with the doctor, it will be difficult for the doctor to get the true history, especially when it comes to sensitive personal issues such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, marital discord, etc. which hinder a healthy lifestyle.
A hospital is an ecosystem with doctors, nurses, technical and non-technical staff. Empathy should exist among everyone for the hospital to collaborate and function effectively. A happy front desk staff means happy patients. A consultant’s empathy is positively associated with improvement in patient-reported outcomes of depression and other aspects of life.
Empathy can go a long way in influencing the quality of care. “It helps in greater involvement in patient care and better understanding of their needs. This results in appropriate planning and execution of solutions for clinical effectiveness and quality of care. This, eventually, leads to improved outcomes, which is the essence of a successful hospital business,” said Dr. Manish Banker,Director,Nova IVF Fertility.
Apart from medical intervention, the mental well-being of a patient plays a significant role in one’s health. Hence it is vital for doctors to ensure that the patients are not stressed on their hospital visits. To tackle extreme cases, the presence of professional counsellors in the clinic is a value add, and Nova IVF Fertility has in-house counsellors in all its centres. Having relaxed and more open patients ensures the right diagnosis and treatment, and also improves the success rates of the treatment.
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