Staying out of the Hospital: Doctor and Patient Trust
Another cause that increases admission and readmission rates to hospitals is the physician. If a patient does not trust or like his\her doctor, would they return for a follow up appointment after a hospital stay, especially if the distrust came because of the recent hospital stay? Also, finances may play a role in physician follow up after a hospital stay because the patient feels they will just follow up during the next previously scheduled appointment. A study funded by the Taiwan National Science Council suggested that emotional intelligence played a large roll with patients when it came to follow up visits and general trust of the doctor (Weng, 2008). Emotional intelligence means the doctor was able to understand his\her emotions, the patient’s emotions, emotion regulation, and how to use his\her own emotions (Weng, 2008). Another aspect of patient trust involved the doctor’s age. The patient’s perception is that the older doctor is one to be better trusted because of the concept older means more experience (Weng, 2008). When a patient trusts his\her doctor, follow up appointments are kept, which reduced readmissions. Also, when a patient trusts his\her doctor, cost becomes less of an issue as patients see it is a good value for his\her money. From experience, a story of a patient receiving homecare would not follow up with her doctor because her husband died under his care, and her belief was that he was more interested in the patient’s money (the co-pay due) than the actual patient. This presented resentment and refusal for a follow up appointment. To date, the patient has not received a follow up appointment with the doctor, but states that this is her doctor. This patient has a higher likelihood of being readmitted because of her lack of trust with the doctor. Teaching from the homecare company should stress a follow up or have the patient seek another doctor she would trust and actually attend the scheduled appointment.
Weng, H. (2008). Does the Physician's emotional Intelligence Matter? Impacts of the Physician's Emotional Intelligence on the Trust, Patient-Physician Relationship, and Satisfaction. Health Care Management Review, 33(4), 280-288.