Words are powerful, there’s no doubt about it. As a physician you learn a fair amount about bedside manner in school. And you gain valuable experience through every day application. You may think you have the art of feedback perfected, but as a Direct Care doc you have the ability to connect with patients on a deeper level than you would through a traditional practice. It’s partially why you’re in Direct Care to begin with; you wanted the opportunity to practice patient-centric medicine.
That means providing feedback that will actually be useful and yup, you guessed it, constructive. Providing feedback in a way that opens the doors for honest improvement does more than invigorate someone to better themselves. It builds trust.
“Think about it: is there anything more invigorating than knowing there are people who want to help you become your best self? It starts with how we interact with one another. Words can hit and bounce off people or they can be planted like a seed. Even the raise of an eyebrow or the wrong tone can extinguish a desire to learn, stirring anxiety and a fear of failure.” – HelpScout
Aside from our own interactions with patients, we frequently deal with feedback when handling support for the Atlas.md EMR. We know firsthand how much weight a note carrying an attitude has. Alternatively, kind words and thoughtful suggestions go a long way toward the effort we’re willing to put in to make our users happy.
Believe it or not, there’s formula for constructing feedback, and it’s something we should all keep in mind each time we interact with a patient, a support team, or anyone we’re critiquing. We highly recommend reading this article from HelpScout for more details. After all, when is it ever a bad idea to choose positivity over negativity?