The Undeniable Keys to Building Trust with Patients

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Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, and that is especially true when it comes to building excellent patient experiences. In this episode of the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast, which focuses on building trust with patients, we warmly welcome back our guest, Katrina Coleman, BSN, MSN, to the show.

With an extensive background in nursing and healthcare leadership, Katrina currently serves as Leadership and Engagement Strategist with the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute (MHEI).

Her dedication to serving the patient community is inspiring and Katrina’s presence on our show has always left a lasting impact on our listeners. This is her third time being interviewed on this podcast. You can listen to her previous interviews here:

Katrina has dedicated her career to improving patient experiences and building trust within the healthcare system.

The Consequences of Mistrust

Recent research has shed light on the consequences of a patient lacking trust in their healthcare provider. In such cases, patients may withhold critical information from their doctors, including vital symptoms and details about their health history.

This reluctance stems from a deep-seated mistrust in how their doctor will handle and utilize this shared information.

“It’s like any other relationship in your life. If you’re not trusting that person, you may not be vulnerable with them,” Katrina said.

Non-compliance with treatment plans, reduced satisfaction, and increased healthcare costs are just a few of the effects that result from a breakdown in trust.

“Nurses are one of the most highly trusted professions, and lately the trust with providers, physicians, and advanced practice providers has been eroding, and part of that is because the patient associates a provider with a health care system,” Katrina added.

Connecting with Patients

Katrina emphasizes the importance of taking the time to connect with patients on a personal level. Simple acts, such as introducing oneself, making eye contact, and asking open-ended questions, can go a long way in building a meaningful rapport.

“There’s a high cost to not trusting both from the human perspective and an organizational and revenue perspective,” Katrina said.

Effective communication, active listening, and explaining the “why” behind treatment recommendations also contribute to building patient trust. Collaborating with patients and involving their families in the decision-making process can further enhance trust and improve overall patient experiences.

Involving families in the healthcare process is a cornerstone of patient-centered care. By including family members, healthcare providers create a supportive environment that considers the total well-being of the patient.

This collaborative approach not only increases compliance with treatment plans but also enhances patient and family satisfaction. Furthermore, it has a positive impact on the well-being of healthcare professionals, reducing a sense of burnout and fostering a deep feeling of fulfillment.

Make Patients Feel Valued

To create a welcoming and comfortable environment for patients, it is crucial to make them feel valued.

Building trust with patients is an ongoing process. By prioritizing effective communication, collaboration, and involving families, healthcare professionals can improve patient experiences, enhance outcomes, and foster a positive environment for all stakeholders.

In today’s podcast, we delve into the underlying factors contributing to a breakdown in trust, with one significant aspect being a lack of time.

“When it comes to trust, the number one thing, the number one reason that trust is eroding with physicians or providers is the lack of time,” Katrina said.

Despite these demands on their time, providers must remain committed to careful, effective communication tactics with their patients. As Katrina reminds us in today’s episode, every interaction counts, and by focusing on building trust, we can ensure that the healthcare journey is one of compassion, empathy, and genuine care.

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.