Make Your Clinic Contagious with Kindness! How Your Medical Practice can Project Amiability and Why You Should.

Kindness is truly contagious. 

Creating a culture of kindness is tantamount to having a positive and productive healthcare clinic. Evidence shows that having a kind workplace culture helps to foster the physical and mental well-being of both patients and employees. In other words – an environment of kindness is truly contagious. Nurturing positive relationships and attitudes helps in making staff more productive and it helps to sustain a better patient experience so that they can fully trust your clinic and recommend it to others. Compassion and empathy go a long way in making your clinic a comfortable and trustworthy place to seek treatment. Patients feel that they are receiving the best quality of care when they feel like medical staff takes time to show that they truly care. Even the smallest gestures can make the largest difference in patient experience.

The smallest bright efforts can be your catalyst.

Studies show that treating patients with kindness, empathy, and compassion will help them have better adherence to medications, increased satisfaction, and can even contribute to lowering the number of malpractice cases. Kindness between staff and the patient will promote a better emotional connection and greater understanding which builds trust, improves health outcomes, and lowers the amount of anxiety patients experience. Uncaring actions of just one individual can ruin the patient’s experience. It starts from the moment they step into the clinic, so it is of utmost importance that the front-line interacting staff is trained to treat them with kindness from the start, it sets to mood for the rest of their visit. Small gestures such as a smile, a warm tone, and an empathetic ear can make a large difference in the patient’s perception. It reduces fear and anxiety from the start and increases their optimism. Your practitioners and nurses will also make a large difference with small gestures such as holding their hand, patiently hearing what is being said, and honesty. These are the core values of patient-centric healthcare. Having these open lines of communication and engaging patients in the decision-making process has shown to help providers make better decisions regarding the patient’s health. Taking a patient-centric approach to healthcare is considered by many experts to be a key in the highest quality of healthcare a clinic can achieve.

Can simple happiness really have a positive impact on my practice?

The healthcare field is often fast-paced and highly stressful, creating kindness among staff is vital in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Reducing stress and depression in the clinic will boost productivity and reduce the number of illnesses experienced throughout the year. As many as 11 million sick days taken are the result of stress-related illnesses. Staff taking a large amount of stress-related sick days can have a ripple effect of creating more stress because some days your clinic may be understaffed. Having a positive, happy, and productive staff will transfer to the patient and improve the patient’s experience. Creating an environment of kindness and compassion will increase communication between staff members which leads to fewer mistakes made and higher quality care for your patients.

Some leaders and managers in the workplace fear that too much kindness and compassion can be seen as a sign of weakness from their staff. Studies show that this concern is simply not true. Cultivating a compassionate environment as a practice manager is a win-win for everyone involved due to the reduction in hardships, improvement of overall mood, and opening better lines of communication between staff members. Patients will be able to see the kindness among staff, thus creating a better overall experience for them. It is also a way of fostering better employee retention. Creating a culture of kindness and a practice manager involves starting with yourself and making changes with how you interact with your staff members. As a leader, your staff will look to you as an example of how they should behave. Kindness spreads easily so if it starts with you, the staff you interact with will follow your lead, and patients will continue the trend. It starts with small gestures such as cheerful greetings, having conversations about family members, or wishing someone well when you know they are going through a difficult time. As a leader, slowing down and making time for your colleagues shows that you care and it makes them feel appreciated. Making it known to your colleagues that you care, along with creating compassionate policies, are fundamental ways to improve your healthcare practice.

We hear all the time that kindness is contagious, yet we rarely choose to be the instigators of joy.  Making people feel good about themselves makes us feel better, makes others want to extend that positive experience onto others. So many facets of healthcare and patient experience can benefit from simply being conscious about your emotions, and compassionate regarding the feelings of others.

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