Prescription for the Angry Patient: Communication

September 22, 2014 10:12 PM

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Prescription for the Angry Patient: Communication

Anger is the human response to unmet needs or expectations. When patients enter a hospital, they expect good care and good communication, and they usually expect to leave the hospital in better shape than they were in when admitted. Unfortunately, any deviance in meeting needs or expectations can result in anger. To complicate things, health care providers typically add to this anger by failing to communicate with the patient regarding why expectations were not met. Providers literally throw fuel on the fire by failing to communicate.

Good communication is the foundation of the physician-patient relationship. In addition to yielding better patient outcomes, good communication between a patient and physician has other benefits. Research has shown that patients are less likely to sue physicians they like and trust. Even when a pati...

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