Things People Want from Their (Healthcare) Leader

This is Dr. Ken Richmond, Board Certified Psychiatrist, organizational consultant, and Telepsychiatrist.

Today, I want to talk about the three things that patients want when they meet with their health care provider. As a psychiatrist, I listen to patients, we hear a lot of their problems, also a lot of their success and victories, but the three things that I think that patients want from their healthcare provider. Let’s take a look at them.

Simply put, patients want to be seen. It’s not merely the fact that they’re on yourchedule, it’s the fact that they want to be seen for more than being a diagnosis. For example, patients don’t want to be seen as the
“Schizophrenic patient.” They’d rather be seen as a patient with Schizophrenia.  There is a slight but powerful difference in that the patient’s so-called name is not synonymous with their clinical diagnosis.

The second thing patients want from healthcare provider is to be listened to.  This is very different than wanting to be heard.  I should mention that listening requires a higher cognitive ability; whereas, hearing is processing sounds that are usually coming from the external environment.  Listening requires one to get a deeper meaning from what the patient or individual may be saying to you. Oftentimes you have to listen to what is being said, but also what is not being said.

The third thing that patients want from their healthcare provider is to be understood. And that’s a very deep, deep level of involvement and engagement with your patient. It does require individuals to have an empathic approach to recognizing what’s going on with that individual. An example would be, being able to empathize with a patient because you understand where they’re coming from. Understanding the patient is cannot be understated.  Doing so allows me, you, and anyone to give that patient what they may need from you.

Those three things I believe are essential to improving healthcare encounters.  However, these insights can also be translated to the workplace or in any type of relationship.  Again, individuals need to be seen, listened to, and understood.  How many of those do you currently use or will consider utilizing more when you have interactions with patients?  How about in business?  Are any of these insights worth developing?   Let me know your thoughts.

I am Dr. Ken Richmond. I help corporate leaders pinpoint leadership issues so they can develop thriving workplaces with less turnover, improved workplace morale, and increased organizational performance.  You can follow me on all social media platforms @DrKenRichmond.