Home Care Heroes Blog

Improve Elder Care: Patients are Happier when their Doctor Sits Down

I live very close to Babson College, the school where I earned my MBA. The close proximity gives me a chance to participate in certain campus activities.  Although I don't go very often, I especially like to volunteer for their Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program (CLTP).  This program gives undergraduate students an opportunity to get feedback from professionals who observe them as they discuss case studies in a small group and give a 1 minute "job talk" (where they share a personal elevator speech explaining why you should hire them).  I enjoy giving feedback to the students, but also enjoy hearing the feedback that other mentors provide.  Being a technology geek, I tend to focus on the substance and the content, such as what ideas they contributed and whether they helped bring the group to concensus.  The last time I participated (about a month ago), several of the mentors working with me seemed to give most of their feedback about body language, along the lines of "I like how she leaned in when others were speaking", or, "he didn't make enough eye contact with his team members, but he smiled a few times".  So sorry for the long introduction, but this experience raised my awareness of the importance of body language, and especially the impact of body language as a part of patient care.

A recent University of Kansas Hospital study, showed that patients have a more positive perception of their visit with their doctor when the doctor sits down to speak with them.  You can see the full article, entitled Sitting Down on the Job: New Data Finds That Patients Are Happier When Doctors Sit Down, Even If They Don't Stay As Long on the University of Kansas website by clicking on the banner below.  

University of Kansas Hospital

Some key takeaways from the study were as follows:

  • When asked how long the doctor spent with them, patients reported the time to be 40% longer when the doctor sat down to speak with them
  • When the doctor sat down, 91% of patients' post-visit comments were positive, as opposed to 65% when the doctor stood up
  • Per the article "When patients think the doctor is in the room longer, they express a better understanding of their condition and greater satisfaction with their care, which can be factors in decreased lengths of stay, decreased costs, improved clinical outcomes and decreased litigation"

This really helps to solidify the importance of body language in the perception of the quality of healthcare in general and specifically for home care/elderly care, Sitting Down improves Patient Satisfactionand it also potentially gives us a nice reminder for our caregivers that they should sit down when speaking to their patients/clients.

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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