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Building Trust In Telehealth

4 ways to create trust to enhance the provider and physician relationship in a virtual care environment:

Individuals coming together to begin a task.
Trust is a crucial element of every patient-provider relationship.

1. Communicate Competence: Physicians need to demonstrate their expertise and credibility, even in virtual settings. Ensuring a professional appearance and background, making eye contact with the camera, and actively listening to patients' concerns are crucial to convey competence.

2. Demonstrate Logic: Virtual visits provide an opportunity to review patient records during the consultation, but physicians should avoid appearing as if they are reading instead of engaging with the patient. Sharing the screen with the patient and discussing their data can help demonstrate logical thinking.

3. Convey Empathy: Building empathy is more challenging in virtual visits, as physical touch and visual cues are limited. Verbal cues, active listening, and using patients' language to communicate effectively can help convey empathy and create a connection.

4. Be Reliable: Physicians must be punctual and accessible to patients during virtual consultations to establish reliability. They should also consider potential barriers to access that patients may face, such as internet connectivity or privacy issues.

"Most of us wouldn’t turn to a stranger on an airplane and tell him or her about our aches and pains, our digestive issues, or our deepest fears about the future. And yet, every single day, patients see new doctors for the first time and share intimate details about their bodies and their worries with a person they may know by recommendation but have just met. It’s remarkable — and it’s a reminder of just how central trust is to the patient-physician relationship." - Alexa Kimball & Nick Morgan

Check out the rest of the article here: Harvard Business Review

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