Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Engaged Bedside Manners

Reading the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine this morning about clinical decision making with Low Back Pain, I couldn't help but smile about the age-old clinical prediction rules. 

As important as they are in helping guide us towards helping you (the patient) achieve improved performance, we often forget our bedside manners (listening, communication, etc). 

The 2008, he Archives of Internal Medicine published a Northwest University’s School of Medicine study on patients’ preferences of exam room etiquette vs. the actual reality (they videotaped film on doctors behaviors). 

The results were not so good.  

In more than half of all doctor/patient visits, doctors did not mention patients’ during the entire visit.

As Physical Therapists, we cannot exist if we are that bad at engaging.  In fact, an argument could be made that engagement is the polar opposite of burnout, a Physical Therapist that won't listen, won't show emotion, or micromanages care without direction and purpose.

In our world of Physical Therapy, we take pride in our ability to listen, to understand, to re-phrase what you (the patient) tells us, because its our duty.  

Physical Therapist pride themselves on this area, because in general, the health care industry is not as good at it.

At PTW, we believe in our abilities to Educate, Engage, and Empower.  What we call engaged, you may call beside manner. 

Our research about predictive rules may help direct us towards appropriate care, but our empathy, communication, involvement, will often pay bigger dividend to our customers and get us a better high five when their care is completed.