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Empathy Benefits Both Physicians and Patients: Case Studies and Best Practices

October 2, 2018

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)

Defining empathy can be complicated. In medicine, it is thought of as a communication competence, but it also describes the experience between physician and patient, during which the physician becomes attuned to the patient to understand what the patient is feeling. Patients also use empathy to describe a physician’s ability to understand their feelings and opinions and express compassion and concern for their well-being.1 Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to technical acumen, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging benefits for both physicians and patients.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Patient Relationship, Physician, Article

Case Studies: Physician Empathy Can Decrease Liability Risk

October 2, 2018

Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to clinical skill, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging effects for both physicians and patients, including better patient outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, less stress and burnout, and — as the following case studies show — it can affect whether a patient files a medical liability lawsuit.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Patient Relationship, Physician, Case Study

Encourage Positive Online Physician Ratings with These Best Practices

September 26, 2018

Patients are turning to sources such as ZocDoc, HealthGrades, Vitals, Yelp and other online physician review sources, and reviews are impacting where patients seek care. A 2016 survey conducted by Software Advice found that 72% percent of respondents used online reviews as a first step in seeking a medical provider. While this percentage may appear shockingly high to some, it accurately reflects our nation’s current consumer landscape. With similar models for selecting restaurants, clothing, cars, and other retail businesses, it was only a matter of time until the healthcare industry followed. Understanding what these online reviews say — and don’t say — can help your practice develop a strategy for improving these reviews and aid you in developing a positive reputation online.

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Filed under: Digital Practice, Physician Ratings, Reputation Management, Public Relations & Communication, Physician, Practice Manager, Article

What’s Your Exit Strategy? Planning an Orderly Exit from Your Practice

September 20, 2018

What would happen to your patients if you could no longer practice medicine? Will your practice continue after you retire? What will happen to your staff or your colleagues? Every business owner and professional, no matter how passionate about a career, will eventually leave. Planned and unplanned life events such as retirement, death, physical or cognitive disabilities — or maybe a career change to teaching or writing — can trigger your departure from medicine. Developing an exit strategy will help you make business decisions that lead to a well-planned exit while also preparing for unforeseen circumstances.

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Filed under: Business Continuity, Personal Finance & Career, Physician, Article, Practice Manager

Hiring a Locum Tenens for Your Practice: What You Need to Know

September 10, 2018

Balancing personal and family time with your responsibilities as a physician may be one of your biggest challenges, especially if you are a self-employed physician in a solo or small practice since time off can mean no income for you and your staff. If you have wrestled with striking a balance between running your practice and having time for yourself and your family, there’s hope. Hiring a locum tenens during your absence may provide a solution that will allow you to take time off work to re-energize both body and mind and return to work with a renewed focus and sense of purpose without a negative financial impact.

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Filed under: Practice Management, Business Operations, Practice Manager, Article

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