Patient complaints mainly about rudeness, rushing, reproach
Based on e-mails received in relation to a previous article, author Sue Jacques categorized complaints from patients into three groups: rudeness, rushing, and reproach. Complaints regarding rudeness vary from being verbally attacked by a receptionist to feeling insulted by a physician. Other situations that were deemed rude included having to wait for every appointment, feeling that the distracted doctor was not listening, and not being introduced to strangers in the room. Practices may want to host meetings for employees to develop guiding principles, including injecting an element of kindness and compassion into patient interactions.
Patients do not like being rushed, especially when the physician is rushing them. Although patients understand that urgent matters arise for physicians, they appreciate being notified of delays. Patients should be prepared by receptionists or booking staff in terms of how long they will have for their visit. Finally, patients report being made to feel they are at fault for their condition; they do not appreciate being reprimanded or talked down to. Rather, patients want understanding, support, and advice.
"The bottom line is this: Patients want patience as much as medical practitioners do. Beyond rudeness, rushing, and reproach lies respect. I get the feeling that's what the patients who write me are looking for," Jacques writes.
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