This week’s Newsweek contains an article examining the fractured doctor-patient relationship. The writer Shannon Brownlee fairly examines how several factors have led to a severe decrease in the amount of time doctors are able to spend with their patients. This has led to an erosion of care, as several studies have shown a strong coorelation between a good relationship with a healthcare provider and patients’ feelings of well-being and lack of actual symptoms. Similarly, primary doctors feel the strain of having to care for too many patients, negotiating with insurance companies to provide proper care, and pleasing the “worried well” who expect drugs or tests regardless of any actual illness or condition.
Fortunately, the healthcare profession is taking steps to rebuild this most essential part of proper patient care. Several medical schools are incorporating social skills testing and education into their curriculums, and there are programs in place to reach out to working care providers.
SIMmersion’s suite of healthcare training systems will certainly be an important tool for teaching and reinforcing the right thing to say for providers, even with limited time for each patient. Our hope is that being part of these social skills initiatives will lead to better outcomes for patients and more compliant, actively participating patients for their healthcare providers.