Estate Planning

Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

improving communication between caregivers and doctors

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Communication with doctors is important when caring for a loved one, especially regarding medication and treatment plans. However, effective communication can be difficult to achieve at times. 

How many times have you misheard information because the doctor was talking in a noisy environment, or you forgot to ask them questions? The good news is, there are ways to improve communication between caregivers and doctors to ensure patient satisfaction. This practical guide lists helpful tips for making the process easier. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Caregivers play an important role in healthcare, as they’re responsible for their patient's well-being and medicine management. 

  • The benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors include fewer medical errors, improved trust, better patient follow-through, and improved patient care.  

  • Language and cultural barriers, a lack of time, and multiple caregivers can create barriers to improved communication.  

 

Benefits of Improved Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors 

benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors 

Here are some of the benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors.

Enhancing Patient Care and Outcomes

The whole process is smoother when doctors and caregivers are on the same page. Clear and honest communication is beneficial for better patient care and clinical outcomes. 

There are often more misunderstandings when there is a lack of proper communication between caregivers and doctors. This can cause negative experiences or less favorable outcomes, typically weakening the relationship between the patient, doctor and caregiver. 

Fewer Medical Errors and Misunderstandings

When you deal with a loved one’s medical information, specifically dosages, even a slight change in the amount can have negative outcomes. 

Improved communication between doctors and caregivers will prevent these misunderstandings from popping up. For example, a patient may be allergic to medication. If the caregiver does not explain this correctly to the doctor, it could cause a serious problem. 

Misunderstanding the doctor's advice or treatment could result in you not caring for your patient in the best way and ultimately causing harm, which is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Improved Trust Between Caregivers and Doctors

There needs to be trust between the doctors and the caregivers to ensure the best patient care. Doctors need to trust that the caregiver will follow the treatment instructions, and caregivers need to trust the doctor to properly share their concerns and feelings. 

Trust between doctors and caregivers improves overall patient care and clinical outcomes. If the patient sees that you trust the doctor, they will also trust them.

Better Patient Follow-Through

Many people underestimate how much of an impact a caregiver can have on their loved one. Since your parent or child trusts you and your judgment, they’re more likely to follow through on doctors' orders or treatment plans if they see you and the doctor are on the same page.

Improved Patient Satisfaction  

Patient satisfaction is a big part of successful treatment. Patients are less likely to listen to their doctor if they’re rude or dismissive to caregivers because their caregiver is often their primary source of medical care. 

Improved communication also prevents miscommunication that can cause annoyance and inconvenience to the patient caught in the middle.


Tips For Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors  

tips for improving communication between caregivers and doctors

So, how can communication between doctors and caregivers be improved? Luckily, there are some easy things you can do that quickly make a big difference. Here are some simple communication tips you can try. 

Establish Your Role As a Caregiver

Caregivers need to introduce themselves to the doctor or healthcare professional and establish their role. This prevents any confusion about whether you're a family member to an elderly parent, child, or friend and also helps earn you respect from the doctor. 

You can do this by entering the room confidently, addressing the doctor directly, and maintaining eye contact when introducing yourself and your loved one. 

Use an Assertive and Clear Tone

Maintain a confident and clear tone throughout the consultation or interaction without being rude or aggressive. Even when you're unsure or asking questions, remember to speak confidently. 

This shows doctors you can be trusted, which will help the patient relax knowing you have the situation under control. Using an assertive and clear tone prevents miscommunications from happening. 

Use Facts to Describe Medical Problems

As caregivers, it’s common to grow fond of your patients, especially if they're friends or family members. However, during consultations and hospital visits, it’s vital to use facts and not your feelings or emotions when you explain the patient's medical conditions. 

Only give the doctor relevant information and focus on the most important information first. 

Ask for Clarification

You should always ask for clarification if you're unsure of something or didn't quite catch what the doctor said. Sometimes, doctors may forget to explain medical jargon in layman's terms, so you need to ask for a clearer explanation. 

This is important if they're busy explaining the treatment plan and the dosage of medication that you need to administer. Simply ask them to stop and restate what they said, this time with a notepad ready.

A good way for caregivers to keep track of medication dosages and medical documents is by using an operating system like Trustworthy, where you can keep all their important medical documents secure and organized. You can also share those documents with other family members in a safe, secure place.

Share any Concerns You Have 

If you have any worries or concerns, state them out loud to the doctor, or else you risk not being able to care for your patient to the best of your ability. Doctors appreciate it when you voice your concerns because it shows you are open to problem-solving, collaboration and honest communication. This boosts trust between caregivers and doctors.

Ask for Next Steps

Dr. Rana Awdish, Specialist in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Health says:

“It’s really helpful to think about what’s happening in the visit. Was it a new medicine prescribed, is there testing that needs to be done, because the questions you ask are really about next steps. How will we know the treatment is working, what side effects should we look out for, how will we go about getting these tests scheduled?”


What Is the Role of Caregivers in Healthcare?

what is the role of caregivers in healthcare

The healthcare system has many different roles, from doctors to nurses and caregivers.

Caregivers are people responsible for caring for their loved ones, like their parents or children. This can include physical care, where you assist the person with dressing, going to the toilet, standing, and general everyday activities.

Dr. Adwish explains the importance of caregivers:

“Sometimes, when you have a doctor's appointment as a patient, it can be very overwhelming… Having someone who can take notes that you can refer to later, someone who can maybe ask that question that you said in the car but are forgetting to ask because it’s all a little bit too much sometimes. That person [caregiver] is so valuable.”

Caregivers also consider emotional and psycho-social needs, especially for patients who are unable to leave the home to socialize. Plus, they can help with spiritual, financial and legal needs. There is so much trust between caregivers and their loved ones, so communication between caregivers and doctors must be open and clear. 

While many caregivers aren’t medically trained like doctors, they still have some kind of medical obligation. This is what makes caregivers so important in the healthcare system. They administer their person's medication and follow the doctors' orders. 

Many parents or children who cannot comprehend or make decisions about their healthcare will rely on the caregiver to communicate with the doctor on their behalf. 

  

What Are the Barriers to Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors?

There are only so many tips you can use to improve communication between caregivers and doctors if you don't remove the barriers preventing it. 

Let's explore these challenges in more depth.

Time Constraints

Hospitals and medical centers see thousands of patients coming through their doors, many of which are medical emergencies. So, it's no wonder doctors often speed through their consults just to get to the next patient.

This, unfortunately, results in poor communication between caregivers and doctors, as explanations can be rushed and cause miscommunication in medicine management. This is why you need to be assertive, direct, and factual in how you talk as a caregiver. Ensure you do everything in your power to address all medical concerns.

Limited Channels of Communication

We live in a world with plenty of ways to communicate, which is great for the healthcare industry to contact patients and caregivers. However, when there are limited communication channels, things can get tricky. 

For example, if caregivers are only available via email, this can cause delays and breakdowns in communication. You may ask for a phone number to call and text if this is the case.

Cultural and Language Barriers

This is probably one of the biggest barriers to effective communication between caregivers and doctors. Language barriers cause problems like misinterpretation of words, or sometimes, words may have different meanings in different contexts. 

Even caregivers can become confused by complicated medical jargon, which can cause miscommunication.

Cultural barriers can change the way doctors and caregivers communicate. In certain cultures, some medical conditions are taboo to discuss, such as sexual health. Because of this, conservations are often stilted and lack in-depth explanations. 

Multiple Caregivers 

Some patients may go through multiple caregivers in short periods of time or have multiple people working on different shifts. This can prevent good communication between the caregiver and the doctor because the doctor cannot build a relationship with the caregiver. It's very difficult to put confidence in multiple caregivers. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can communication be improved in healthcare?

One of the best ways to improve communication in healthcare is to allow more time. Don't rush through explanations and dismiss questions and concerns from caregivers or doctors.

What are some common communication mistakes?

Some common communication mistakes include not listening properly, interrupting, and reacting instead of responding. 

What can healthcare professionals do to reduce communication barriers?

Healthcare professionals can reduce communication barriers by speaking in simpler terms, and when there are language barriers, they can use a medical translator.

Estate Planning

Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Communication with doctors is important when caring for a loved one, especially regarding medication and treatment plans. However, effective communication can be difficult to achieve at times. 

How many times have you misheard information because the doctor was talking in a noisy environment, or you forgot to ask them questions? The good news is, there are ways to improve communication between caregivers and doctors to ensure patient satisfaction. This practical guide lists helpful tips for making the process easier. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Caregivers play an important role in healthcare, as they’re responsible for their patient's well-being and medicine management. 

  • The benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors include fewer medical errors, improved trust, better patient follow-through, and improved patient care.  

  • Language and cultural barriers, a lack of time, and multiple caregivers can create barriers to improved communication.  

 

Benefits of Improved Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors 

benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors 

Here are some of the benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors.

Enhancing Patient Care and Outcomes

The whole process is smoother when doctors and caregivers are on the same page. Clear and honest communication is beneficial for better patient care and clinical outcomes. 

There are often more misunderstandings when there is a lack of proper communication between caregivers and doctors. This can cause negative experiences or less favorable outcomes, typically weakening the relationship between the patient, doctor and caregiver. 

Fewer Medical Errors and Misunderstandings

When you deal with a loved one’s medical information, specifically dosages, even a slight change in the amount can have negative outcomes. 

Improved communication between doctors and caregivers will prevent these misunderstandings from popping up. For example, a patient may be allergic to medication. If the caregiver does not explain this correctly to the doctor, it could cause a serious problem. 

Misunderstanding the doctor's advice or treatment could result in you not caring for your patient in the best way and ultimately causing harm, which is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Improved Trust Between Caregivers and Doctors

There needs to be trust between the doctors and the caregivers to ensure the best patient care. Doctors need to trust that the caregiver will follow the treatment instructions, and caregivers need to trust the doctor to properly share their concerns and feelings. 

Trust between doctors and caregivers improves overall patient care and clinical outcomes. If the patient sees that you trust the doctor, they will also trust them.

Better Patient Follow-Through

Many people underestimate how much of an impact a caregiver can have on their loved one. Since your parent or child trusts you and your judgment, they’re more likely to follow through on doctors' orders or treatment plans if they see you and the doctor are on the same page.

Improved Patient Satisfaction  

Patient satisfaction is a big part of successful treatment. Patients are less likely to listen to their doctor if they’re rude or dismissive to caregivers because their caregiver is often their primary source of medical care. 

Improved communication also prevents miscommunication that can cause annoyance and inconvenience to the patient caught in the middle.


Tips For Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors  

tips for improving communication between caregivers and doctors

So, how can communication between doctors and caregivers be improved? Luckily, there are some easy things you can do that quickly make a big difference. Here are some simple communication tips you can try. 

Establish Your Role As a Caregiver

Caregivers need to introduce themselves to the doctor or healthcare professional and establish their role. This prevents any confusion about whether you're a family member to an elderly parent, child, or friend and also helps earn you respect from the doctor. 

You can do this by entering the room confidently, addressing the doctor directly, and maintaining eye contact when introducing yourself and your loved one. 

Use an Assertive and Clear Tone

Maintain a confident and clear tone throughout the consultation or interaction without being rude or aggressive. Even when you're unsure or asking questions, remember to speak confidently. 

This shows doctors you can be trusted, which will help the patient relax knowing you have the situation under control. Using an assertive and clear tone prevents miscommunications from happening. 

Use Facts to Describe Medical Problems

As caregivers, it’s common to grow fond of your patients, especially if they're friends or family members. However, during consultations and hospital visits, it’s vital to use facts and not your feelings or emotions when you explain the patient's medical conditions. 

Only give the doctor relevant information and focus on the most important information first. 

Ask for Clarification

You should always ask for clarification if you're unsure of something or didn't quite catch what the doctor said. Sometimes, doctors may forget to explain medical jargon in layman's terms, so you need to ask for a clearer explanation. 

This is important if they're busy explaining the treatment plan and the dosage of medication that you need to administer. Simply ask them to stop and restate what they said, this time with a notepad ready.

A good way for caregivers to keep track of medication dosages and medical documents is by using an operating system like Trustworthy, where you can keep all their important medical documents secure and organized. You can also share those documents with other family members in a safe, secure place.

Share any Concerns You Have 

If you have any worries or concerns, state them out loud to the doctor, or else you risk not being able to care for your patient to the best of your ability. Doctors appreciate it when you voice your concerns because it shows you are open to problem-solving, collaboration and honest communication. This boosts trust between caregivers and doctors.

Ask for Next Steps

Dr. Rana Awdish, Specialist in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Health says:

“It’s really helpful to think about what’s happening in the visit. Was it a new medicine prescribed, is there testing that needs to be done, because the questions you ask are really about next steps. How will we know the treatment is working, what side effects should we look out for, how will we go about getting these tests scheduled?”


What Is the Role of Caregivers in Healthcare?

what is the role of caregivers in healthcare

The healthcare system has many different roles, from doctors to nurses and caregivers.

Caregivers are people responsible for caring for their loved ones, like their parents or children. This can include physical care, where you assist the person with dressing, going to the toilet, standing, and general everyday activities.

Dr. Adwish explains the importance of caregivers:

“Sometimes, when you have a doctor's appointment as a patient, it can be very overwhelming… Having someone who can take notes that you can refer to later, someone who can maybe ask that question that you said in the car but are forgetting to ask because it’s all a little bit too much sometimes. That person [caregiver] is so valuable.”

Caregivers also consider emotional and psycho-social needs, especially for patients who are unable to leave the home to socialize. Plus, they can help with spiritual, financial and legal needs. There is so much trust between caregivers and their loved ones, so communication between caregivers and doctors must be open and clear. 

While many caregivers aren’t medically trained like doctors, they still have some kind of medical obligation. This is what makes caregivers so important in the healthcare system. They administer their person's medication and follow the doctors' orders. 

Many parents or children who cannot comprehend or make decisions about their healthcare will rely on the caregiver to communicate with the doctor on their behalf. 

  

What Are the Barriers to Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors?

There are only so many tips you can use to improve communication between caregivers and doctors if you don't remove the barriers preventing it. 

Let's explore these challenges in more depth.

Time Constraints

Hospitals and medical centers see thousands of patients coming through their doors, many of which are medical emergencies. So, it's no wonder doctors often speed through their consults just to get to the next patient.

This, unfortunately, results in poor communication between caregivers and doctors, as explanations can be rushed and cause miscommunication in medicine management. This is why you need to be assertive, direct, and factual in how you talk as a caregiver. Ensure you do everything in your power to address all medical concerns.

Limited Channels of Communication

We live in a world with plenty of ways to communicate, which is great for the healthcare industry to contact patients and caregivers. However, when there are limited communication channels, things can get tricky. 

For example, if caregivers are only available via email, this can cause delays and breakdowns in communication. You may ask for a phone number to call and text if this is the case.

Cultural and Language Barriers

This is probably one of the biggest barriers to effective communication between caregivers and doctors. Language barriers cause problems like misinterpretation of words, or sometimes, words may have different meanings in different contexts. 

Even caregivers can become confused by complicated medical jargon, which can cause miscommunication.

Cultural barriers can change the way doctors and caregivers communicate. In certain cultures, some medical conditions are taboo to discuss, such as sexual health. Because of this, conservations are often stilted and lack in-depth explanations. 

Multiple Caregivers 

Some patients may go through multiple caregivers in short periods of time or have multiple people working on different shifts. This can prevent good communication between the caregiver and the doctor because the doctor cannot build a relationship with the caregiver. It's very difficult to put confidence in multiple caregivers. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can communication be improved in healthcare?

One of the best ways to improve communication in healthcare is to allow more time. Don't rush through explanations and dismiss questions and concerns from caregivers or doctors.

What are some common communication mistakes?

Some common communication mistakes include not listening properly, interrupting, and reacting instead of responding. 

What can healthcare professionals do to reduce communication barriers?

Healthcare professionals can reduce communication barriers by speaking in simpler terms, and when there are language barriers, they can use a medical translator.

Estate Planning

Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

improving communication between caregivers and doctors

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Communication with doctors is important when caring for a loved one, especially regarding medication and treatment plans. However, effective communication can be difficult to achieve at times. 

How many times have you misheard information because the doctor was talking in a noisy environment, or you forgot to ask them questions? The good news is, there are ways to improve communication between caregivers and doctors to ensure patient satisfaction. This practical guide lists helpful tips for making the process easier. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Caregivers play an important role in healthcare, as they’re responsible for their patient's well-being and medicine management. 

  • The benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors include fewer medical errors, improved trust, better patient follow-through, and improved patient care.  

  • Language and cultural barriers, a lack of time, and multiple caregivers can create barriers to improved communication.  

 

Benefits of Improved Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors 

benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors 

Here are some of the benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors.

Enhancing Patient Care and Outcomes

The whole process is smoother when doctors and caregivers are on the same page. Clear and honest communication is beneficial for better patient care and clinical outcomes. 

There are often more misunderstandings when there is a lack of proper communication between caregivers and doctors. This can cause negative experiences or less favorable outcomes, typically weakening the relationship between the patient, doctor and caregiver. 

Fewer Medical Errors and Misunderstandings

When you deal with a loved one’s medical information, specifically dosages, even a slight change in the amount can have negative outcomes. 

Improved communication between doctors and caregivers will prevent these misunderstandings from popping up. For example, a patient may be allergic to medication. If the caregiver does not explain this correctly to the doctor, it could cause a serious problem. 

Misunderstanding the doctor's advice or treatment could result in you not caring for your patient in the best way and ultimately causing harm, which is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Improved Trust Between Caregivers and Doctors

There needs to be trust between the doctors and the caregivers to ensure the best patient care. Doctors need to trust that the caregiver will follow the treatment instructions, and caregivers need to trust the doctor to properly share their concerns and feelings. 

Trust between doctors and caregivers improves overall patient care and clinical outcomes. If the patient sees that you trust the doctor, they will also trust them.

Better Patient Follow-Through

Many people underestimate how much of an impact a caregiver can have on their loved one. Since your parent or child trusts you and your judgment, they’re more likely to follow through on doctors' orders or treatment plans if they see you and the doctor are on the same page.

Improved Patient Satisfaction  

Patient satisfaction is a big part of successful treatment. Patients are less likely to listen to their doctor if they’re rude or dismissive to caregivers because their caregiver is often their primary source of medical care. 

Improved communication also prevents miscommunication that can cause annoyance and inconvenience to the patient caught in the middle.


Tips For Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors  

tips for improving communication between caregivers and doctors

So, how can communication between doctors and caregivers be improved? Luckily, there are some easy things you can do that quickly make a big difference. Here are some simple communication tips you can try. 

Establish Your Role As a Caregiver

Caregivers need to introduce themselves to the doctor or healthcare professional and establish their role. This prevents any confusion about whether you're a family member to an elderly parent, child, or friend and also helps earn you respect from the doctor. 

You can do this by entering the room confidently, addressing the doctor directly, and maintaining eye contact when introducing yourself and your loved one. 

Use an Assertive and Clear Tone

Maintain a confident and clear tone throughout the consultation or interaction without being rude or aggressive. Even when you're unsure or asking questions, remember to speak confidently. 

This shows doctors you can be trusted, which will help the patient relax knowing you have the situation under control. Using an assertive and clear tone prevents miscommunications from happening. 

Use Facts to Describe Medical Problems

As caregivers, it’s common to grow fond of your patients, especially if they're friends or family members. However, during consultations and hospital visits, it’s vital to use facts and not your feelings or emotions when you explain the patient's medical conditions. 

Only give the doctor relevant information and focus on the most important information first. 

Ask for Clarification

You should always ask for clarification if you're unsure of something or didn't quite catch what the doctor said. Sometimes, doctors may forget to explain medical jargon in layman's terms, so you need to ask for a clearer explanation. 

This is important if they're busy explaining the treatment plan and the dosage of medication that you need to administer. Simply ask them to stop and restate what they said, this time with a notepad ready.

A good way for caregivers to keep track of medication dosages and medical documents is by using an operating system like Trustworthy, where you can keep all their important medical documents secure and organized. You can also share those documents with other family members in a safe, secure place.

Share any Concerns You Have 

If you have any worries or concerns, state them out loud to the doctor, or else you risk not being able to care for your patient to the best of your ability. Doctors appreciate it when you voice your concerns because it shows you are open to problem-solving, collaboration and honest communication. This boosts trust between caregivers and doctors.

Ask for Next Steps

Dr. Rana Awdish, Specialist in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Health says:

“It’s really helpful to think about what’s happening in the visit. Was it a new medicine prescribed, is there testing that needs to be done, because the questions you ask are really about next steps. How will we know the treatment is working, what side effects should we look out for, how will we go about getting these tests scheduled?”


What Is the Role of Caregivers in Healthcare?

what is the role of caregivers in healthcare

The healthcare system has many different roles, from doctors to nurses and caregivers.

Caregivers are people responsible for caring for their loved ones, like their parents or children. This can include physical care, where you assist the person with dressing, going to the toilet, standing, and general everyday activities.

Dr. Adwish explains the importance of caregivers:

“Sometimes, when you have a doctor's appointment as a patient, it can be very overwhelming… Having someone who can take notes that you can refer to later, someone who can maybe ask that question that you said in the car but are forgetting to ask because it’s all a little bit too much sometimes. That person [caregiver] is so valuable.”

Caregivers also consider emotional and psycho-social needs, especially for patients who are unable to leave the home to socialize. Plus, they can help with spiritual, financial and legal needs. There is so much trust between caregivers and their loved ones, so communication between caregivers and doctors must be open and clear. 

While many caregivers aren’t medically trained like doctors, they still have some kind of medical obligation. This is what makes caregivers so important in the healthcare system. They administer their person's medication and follow the doctors' orders. 

Many parents or children who cannot comprehend or make decisions about their healthcare will rely on the caregiver to communicate with the doctor on their behalf. 

  

What Are the Barriers to Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors?

There are only so many tips you can use to improve communication between caregivers and doctors if you don't remove the barriers preventing it. 

Let's explore these challenges in more depth.

Time Constraints

Hospitals and medical centers see thousands of patients coming through their doors, many of which are medical emergencies. So, it's no wonder doctors often speed through their consults just to get to the next patient.

This, unfortunately, results in poor communication between caregivers and doctors, as explanations can be rushed and cause miscommunication in medicine management. This is why you need to be assertive, direct, and factual in how you talk as a caregiver. Ensure you do everything in your power to address all medical concerns.

Limited Channels of Communication

We live in a world with plenty of ways to communicate, which is great for the healthcare industry to contact patients and caregivers. However, when there are limited communication channels, things can get tricky. 

For example, if caregivers are only available via email, this can cause delays and breakdowns in communication. You may ask for a phone number to call and text if this is the case.

Cultural and Language Barriers

This is probably one of the biggest barriers to effective communication between caregivers and doctors. Language barriers cause problems like misinterpretation of words, or sometimes, words may have different meanings in different contexts. 

Even caregivers can become confused by complicated medical jargon, which can cause miscommunication.

Cultural barriers can change the way doctors and caregivers communicate. In certain cultures, some medical conditions are taboo to discuss, such as sexual health. Because of this, conservations are often stilted and lack in-depth explanations. 

Multiple Caregivers 

Some patients may go through multiple caregivers in short periods of time or have multiple people working on different shifts. This can prevent good communication between the caregiver and the doctor because the doctor cannot build a relationship with the caregiver. It's very difficult to put confidence in multiple caregivers. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can communication be improved in healthcare?

One of the best ways to improve communication in healthcare is to allow more time. Don't rush through explanations and dismiss questions and concerns from caregivers or doctors.

What are some common communication mistakes?

Some common communication mistakes include not listening properly, interrupting, and reacting instead of responding. 

What can healthcare professionals do to reduce communication barriers?

Healthcare professionals can reduce communication barriers by speaking in simpler terms, and when there are language barriers, they can use a medical translator.

Estate Planning

Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

improving communication between caregivers and doctors

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Communication with doctors is important when caring for a loved one, especially regarding medication and treatment plans. However, effective communication can be difficult to achieve at times. 

How many times have you misheard information because the doctor was talking in a noisy environment, or you forgot to ask them questions? The good news is, there are ways to improve communication between caregivers and doctors to ensure patient satisfaction. This practical guide lists helpful tips for making the process easier. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Caregivers play an important role in healthcare, as they’re responsible for their patient's well-being and medicine management. 

  • The benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors include fewer medical errors, improved trust, better patient follow-through, and improved patient care.  

  • Language and cultural barriers, a lack of time, and multiple caregivers can create barriers to improved communication.  

 

Benefits of Improved Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors 

benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors 

Here are some of the benefits of improved communication between caregivers and doctors.

Enhancing Patient Care and Outcomes

The whole process is smoother when doctors and caregivers are on the same page. Clear and honest communication is beneficial for better patient care and clinical outcomes. 

There are often more misunderstandings when there is a lack of proper communication between caregivers and doctors. This can cause negative experiences or less favorable outcomes, typically weakening the relationship between the patient, doctor and caregiver. 

Fewer Medical Errors and Misunderstandings

When you deal with a loved one’s medical information, specifically dosages, even a slight change in the amount can have negative outcomes. 

Improved communication between doctors and caregivers will prevent these misunderstandings from popping up. For example, a patient may be allergic to medication. If the caregiver does not explain this correctly to the doctor, it could cause a serious problem. 

Misunderstanding the doctor's advice or treatment could result in you not caring for your patient in the best way and ultimately causing harm, which is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Improved Trust Between Caregivers and Doctors

There needs to be trust between the doctors and the caregivers to ensure the best patient care. Doctors need to trust that the caregiver will follow the treatment instructions, and caregivers need to trust the doctor to properly share their concerns and feelings. 

Trust between doctors and caregivers improves overall patient care and clinical outcomes. If the patient sees that you trust the doctor, they will also trust them.

Better Patient Follow-Through

Many people underestimate how much of an impact a caregiver can have on their loved one. Since your parent or child trusts you and your judgment, they’re more likely to follow through on doctors' orders or treatment plans if they see you and the doctor are on the same page.

Improved Patient Satisfaction  

Patient satisfaction is a big part of successful treatment. Patients are less likely to listen to their doctor if they’re rude or dismissive to caregivers because their caregiver is often their primary source of medical care. 

Improved communication also prevents miscommunication that can cause annoyance and inconvenience to the patient caught in the middle.


Tips For Improving Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors  

tips for improving communication between caregivers and doctors

So, how can communication between doctors and caregivers be improved? Luckily, there are some easy things you can do that quickly make a big difference. Here are some simple communication tips you can try. 

Establish Your Role As a Caregiver

Caregivers need to introduce themselves to the doctor or healthcare professional and establish their role. This prevents any confusion about whether you're a family member to an elderly parent, child, or friend and also helps earn you respect from the doctor. 

You can do this by entering the room confidently, addressing the doctor directly, and maintaining eye contact when introducing yourself and your loved one. 

Use an Assertive and Clear Tone

Maintain a confident and clear tone throughout the consultation or interaction without being rude or aggressive. Even when you're unsure or asking questions, remember to speak confidently. 

This shows doctors you can be trusted, which will help the patient relax knowing you have the situation under control. Using an assertive and clear tone prevents miscommunications from happening. 

Use Facts to Describe Medical Problems

As caregivers, it’s common to grow fond of your patients, especially if they're friends or family members. However, during consultations and hospital visits, it’s vital to use facts and not your feelings or emotions when you explain the patient's medical conditions. 

Only give the doctor relevant information and focus on the most important information first. 

Ask for Clarification

You should always ask for clarification if you're unsure of something or didn't quite catch what the doctor said. Sometimes, doctors may forget to explain medical jargon in layman's terms, so you need to ask for a clearer explanation. 

This is important if they're busy explaining the treatment plan and the dosage of medication that you need to administer. Simply ask them to stop and restate what they said, this time with a notepad ready.

A good way for caregivers to keep track of medication dosages and medical documents is by using an operating system like Trustworthy, where you can keep all their important medical documents secure and organized. You can also share those documents with other family members in a safe, secure place.

Share any Concerns You Have 

If you have any worries or concerns, state them out loud to the doctor, or else you risk not being able to care for your patient to the best of your ability. Doctors appreciate it when you voice your concerns because it shows you are open to problem-solving, collaboration and honest communication. This boosts trust between caregivers and doctors.

Ask for Next Steps

Dr. Rana Awdish, Specialist in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Health says:

“It’s really helpful to think about what’s happening in the visit. Was it a new medicine prescribed, is there testing that needs to be done, because the questions you ask are really about next steps. How will we know the treatment is working, what side effects should we look out for, how will we go about getting these tests scheduled?”


What Is the Role of Caregivers in Healthcare?

what is the role of caregivers in healthcare

The healthcare system has many different roles, from doctors to nurses and caregivers.

Caregivers are people responsible for caring for their loved ones, like their parents or children. This can include physical care, where you assist the person with dressing, going to the toilet, standing, and general everyday activities.

Dr. Adwish explains the importance of caregivers:

“Sometimes, when you have a doctor's appointment as a patient, it can be very overwhelming… Having someone who can take notes that you can refer to later, someone who can maybe ask that question that you said in the car but are forgetting to ask because it’s all a little bit too much sometimes. That person [caregiver] is so valuable.”

Caregivers also consider emotional and psycho-social needs, especially for patients who are unable to leave the home to socialize. Plus, they can help with spiritual, financial and legal needs. There is so much trust between caregivers and their loved ones, so communication between caregivers and doctors must be open and clear. 

While many caregivers aren’t medically trained like doctors, they still have some kind of medical obligation. This is what makes caregivers so important in the healthcare system. They administer their person's medication and follow the doctors' orders. 

Many parents or children who cannot comprehend or make decisions about their healthcare will rely on the caregiver to communicate with the doctor on their behalf. 

  

What Are the Barriers to Communication Between Caregivers and Doctors?

There are only so many tips you can use to improve communication between caregivers and doctors if you don't remove the barriers preventing it. 

Let's explore these challenges in more depth.

Time Constraints

Hospitals and medical centers see thousands of patients coming through their doors, many of which are medical emergencies. So, it's no wonder doctors often speed through their consults just to get to the next patient.

This, unfortunately, results in poor communication between caregivers and doctors, as explanations can be rushed and cause miscommunication in medicine management. This is why you need to be assertive, direct, and factual in how you talk as a caregiver. Ensure you do everything in your power to address all medical concerns.

Limited Channels of Communication

We live in a world with plenty of ways to communicate, which is great for the healthcare industry to contact patients and caregivers. However, when there are limited communication channels, things can get tricky. 

For example, if caregivers are only available via email, this can cause delays and breakdowns in communication. You may ask for a phone number to call and text if this is the case.

Cultural and Language Barriers

This is probably one of the biggest barriers to effective communication between caregivers and doctors. Language barriers cause problems like misinterpretation of words, or sometimes, words may have different meanings in different contexts. 

Even caregivers can become confused by complicated medical jargon, which can cause miscommunication.

Cultural barriers can change the way doctors and caregivers communicate. In certain cultures, some medical conditions are taboo to discuss, such as sexual health. Because of this, conservations are often stilted and lack in-depth explanations. 

Multiple Caregivers 

Some patients may go through multiple caregivers in short periods of time or have multiple people working on different shifts. This can prevent good communication between the caregiver and the doctor because the doctor cannot build a relationship with the caregiver. It's very difficult to put confidence in multiple caregivers. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can communication be improved in healthcare?

One of the best ways to improve communication in healthcare is to allow more time. Don't rush through explanations and dismiss questions and concerns from caregivers or doctors.

What are some common communication mistakes?

Some common communication mistakes include not listening properly, interrupting, and reacting instead of responding. 

What can healthcare professionals do to reduce communication barriers?

Healthcare professionals can reduce communication barriers by speaking in simpler terms, and when there are language barriers, they can use a medical translator.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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