Why Patient Reviews Are Critical For The Trust Equation

trust equation

Patient trust is essential for healthcare, and patient reviews are one of the most helpful ways to build trust.

Reviews are everywhere, restaurants, entertainment centres and even skyscrapers like the Burj have reviews attached to them. Reviews help potential consumers set expectations before visiting somewhere or purchasing a product.

Review systems for healthcare are similair. Where they differ is that patient feedback and reviews are even more pertinent as a patient’s health is always important, and finding the right healthcare professional they can trust can be a taxing effort. Globally, countries without a centralised public health system can have erosions of patient trust.

While Dubai residents generally have a high trust for their healthcare professionals, educated residents have a healthy scepticism of larger corporate functioning healthcare systems.

Where companies are not acting on the best behalf of patient outcomes, we see trust in the overall healthcare sector declining in 17 out of the 28 markets studied by Edelman in the 2018 report, with particularly sharp falls noted among the ‘informed public’ in developed markets such as the US, Germany, France and Canada, all but 1 contain a strong nationalised healthcare system.

Navigating the world of public healthcare as a patient is daunting. This is made even more complex in a private healthcare system where the patient has to own their treatment process.

With so many confusing avenues to explore, the tenet they all share is clear ‘Can I trust this medical professional to provide me adequate care?’

Trust may be perceived as a dichotomy. Something someone is or is not. That’s somewhat accurate, but Green, the primary author behind The Trust Equation has done is make trust a quantifiable equation comprised of four attributes: credibility, reliability, intimacy and self orientation.

By quantifying trust, the assessment makes evaluating it more accessible as well as improving more practical outcomes.

Patient feedback is critical to improving every aspect of the trust equation.

Credibility & Patient Feedback

Credibility is “what you say and how believable you are to others.” In other words, you must be credible if you are asking others to follow your lead. Are you as good as the newly fresh doctors? How do you prove this?

Patient feedback will reflect how well your team as a whole performs under your leadership, and as an individual is quantified by the ‘explanation’ marker on Doctify. Peer recommendations will also bolster your credibility from other medical colleagues significantly

Reliability & Patient Feedback

Reliability measures “actions, and how dependable you appear.” Can you be counted on? People need to know medical professionals will be there for them.

How easy is it for patients to be in contact with you? How does a patient know you’re reliable? Did the feedback they see online about you reflect how dependable you are?

Patient feedback will always reflect a medical professionals reliability, most often quantified by the ‘wait time’ marker for clinics.

Intimacy & Patient Feedback

Intimacy considers “how safe people sharing with you.” Medical professionals have to often approach patient conditions with a delicate approach. Many conditions may be embarrassing for patients, and the safer they feel, the more likely they will share everything to help assist their treatment.

The easiest way to quantify patient trust on Doctify is looking at a medical professional’s ‘Bedside Manner’ marker. Bedside manner measures how approachable you are, and how safe patient’s feel under your care.

Self Orientation & Patient Feedback

The fourth characteristic, self orientation, refers to personal focus, e.g. yourself or others. Too much self focus will lower your degree of trustworthiness to patients. It is important to demonstrate an assuredness for credibility purposes, however if your orientation is all about you, then as a denominator in the trust equation, it can drastically affect how you are seen to be trustworthy.

In order to boost self orientation in a healthy manner, a medical professional must always be learning, even if an error has occurred in their practice. A long wait time? A curt reception team? A missed follow-up appointment?

The best way to quantify this with patient feedback on Doctify is by responding to negative patient feedback. By demonstrating that you care about all patient outcomes and service provided under your care, it shows that you and your clinic are committed to becoming a better medical professional.

Assessing trustworthiness is difficult and subjective. Done with proper attention to self-improvement, it can be a humbling experience.

Trust is essential to developing relationships with patients. Medical professionals who can’t inspire trust from their team or patients face a hard task of self improvement. Inversely, those who have too much self-orientation or ego may be hindering further professional development.

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