The Importance of Patients Building Relationships with Providers
Trust is an essential factor in healthcare. When patients receive any kind of therapy management, they are expecting that the professionals in charge of their care are not only knowledgeable but truthful in all aspects of care. It is important as healthcare providers, that we remain transparent with patients and understanding of not only their physical health, but emotional and mental wellbeing as well. As a community pharmacist, I have had many interactions with patients that allowed me to gain a more in-depth notion of each individual that I treated. For example, if there were patients who were on a fixed income, I would be able to look at their medication therapy and recommend alternative medications that would fit their budgets and still be effective. I was able to do this because patients were comfortable enough to trust me with their financial situations in order for me to help them. Sometimes there is a giant disconnect between providers and patients. Patients are often times intimidated by healthcare providers and afraid to express their issues. Sometimes older patients who are experiencing pain, side effects or mental and emotional issues are not transparent with their providers about these conditions. This creates a barrier that makes providing great healthcare much more difficult. My grandfather was one of the proudest, most hard-working people that I’ve ever been around. He worked as a farmer and mechanic throughout most of his life. He would talk to anybody who came across his path and believed that any ailment could be prevented with a teaspoon of castor oil and a good night of sleep. Once he became older, he started to experience frequent chest pain and tightness. He refused to go to the doctor because he had the belief that if he did, then he would never return home. This is a common fear amongst people in our community. Many people have a distrust of providers and believe that either most are only concerned about the prospect of making money, or they simply do not care about their wellbeing. This is a stigma and barrier that is the responsibility of us in the healthcare community to overcome. Patient-centered care is the backbone and foundation of the proper care of patients, and this idea must not be forgotten. Patients as well as their families have the responsibility of making sure that every important detail of the patient is given to their caregiver. For example, if it is an elderly person who is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the caregivers must be aware of all medications, both prescription and over-the counter, that are being taken, as well as physical ailments and mental/emotional wellbeing. This ensures that they are given the best care possible, which also gives peace of mind to those involved. Trust is the key factor that establishes these points. Patients must not only trust the competency of those in charge of care, they must trust that the best care will be given. For all patients to receive the best care possible, trust is not only needed, its essential to the foundation of healthcare.