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Impact of Humanisation on patient satisfaction

9 May 2024

Humanising medicine is an approach that emphasises treating the patient as a whole - not just as a person in need of medical treatment, but as a unique individual with their own needs, concerns and expectations. At the heart of this process is empathy, communication and an individualised approach to each case. Humanisation in medicine means recognising that each patient has a history, values and preferences that influence their treatment process and healthcare experience.

In an era where advanced medical technologies and procedures take centre stage in healthcare, humanisation is a reminder of the fundamental role of human relationships in treatment. This approach encourages the building of a deeper understanding between patients and health professionals, which is crucial to the effectiveness of treatment. Humanising medicine emphasises the importance of listening to patients, understanding their perspective and involving them in the decision-making process regarding their treatment.

How humanisation affects the doctor-patient relationship

The doctor-patient relationship is the foundation of effective healthcare. Humanising this relationship means moving from the traditional model, in which the doctor dominates and decides, to a partnership model, where patient and doctor work together on an equal basis. An empathetic approach, open communication and mutual trust then become key elements of this dynamic. When patients feel listened to and respected, they are more likely to participate in treatment, which can lead to better health outcomes.

The humanisation of medicine also recognises the importance of emotional support for patients. When faced with illness, patients often experience anxiety, stress and uncertainty. Empathy and support from medical staff can have a significant impact on their wellbeing, helping them to better cope with the challenges of their illness.

Implementing humanisation in medicine requires a culture shift in healthcare facilities, training staff in communication skills and empathy, and designing care systems that enable and promote this approach. This paradigm shift not only improves the patient experience, but can also increase job satisfaction among healthcare professionals by creating a more positive and supportive working environment.

Individual approach to the patient

An individualised approach to patients in healthcare is the foundation that allows for a deeper understanding and more effective meeting of their specific needs. Central to this process is the recognition that each person, as they struggle with illness, brings with them a unique background - a life history, values, preferences and expectations that influence the way they experience illness, respond to treatment and engage in the recovery process.

Why is recognising the unique needs of each patient crucial? Because personalisation of care has a direct impact on the effectiveness of treatment. Patients whose individuality is respected and who are treated as active participants in the treatment process are more likely to comply with medical recommendations, cope better with the challenges of their illness and feel more satisfied with the care they receive. In turn, this translates into better health outcomes and increased loyalty to the facility.

One example of practices that promote individualised treatment is the creation of personalised treatment plans. Such plans take into account not only medical data, but also the patient's lifestyle, health goals and ability to adapt treatment recommendations to everyday life. It is important to use empathy-based communication in the diagnosis and treatment process. This allows for a better understanding of the patient's needs, adapting the information to his or her level of understanding and supporting the patient to actively participate in treatment.

Patient education and decision support are other key elements. Providing patients with clear, understandable information about their condition, possible treatment options and expected outcomes allows them to participate in the treatment process in an informed manner and increases their trust in the medical staff.

The introduction of integrated care, which brings together different professionals to provide a holistic approach to a patient's health, is equally important. Such coordination allows for better case management, especially in situations where health problems are complex and require a multidisciplinary approach.

Patient satisfaction as a measure of quality of care

Patient satisfaction has become a key indicator for assessing the quality of healthcare. It not only reflects the level of satisfaction with the care received, but also serves as a barometer of efficiency, empathy and personalised approach in the healthcare system. In an era where the patient is increasingly informed and demanding, this satisfaction is becoming an important element that healthcare facilities must take into account when seeking to continuously improve their services.

Numerous studies show that the humanisation of medicine, i.e. an approach based on empathy, respect and individual treatment of patients, has a direct impact on patient satisfaction. Elements such as the time the doctor spends talking to the patient, the clarity of the information provided, and the feeling of being listened to and understood contribute significantly to a positive perception of care. Patients who experience a humanistic approach often report higher levels of satisfaction, which translates into better ratings of medical facilities in satisfaction surveys.

Patient satisfaction also has a significant impact on treatment outcomes. Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to follow medical recommendations and engage in the treatment process, which can speed up recovery and increase the effectiveness of treatment. Satisfaction also influences the psychological aspects of recovery, such as motivation to take care of one's own health and a positive attitude, which are important in the treatment process.

Patient loyalty to the facility is another important aspect that is directly related to satisfaction with care. Patients who rate their experience as positive are more likely to use the same facility in the future and to recommend it to family and friends. This, in turn, translates into a better reputation for the facility, more patients and, in the long term, sustainability and growth.