The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society Med Journal March 2020 Final 2 - Page 9

It’s the same question, but you’ve sent some subliminal messages to the patient: you’re prepared, you trust Suzy and therefore so can they, and you value what they have to say. AMS: In your advice to clinicians, why do you stress the importance of per- sonally connecting to patients? Dickens: I encourage everyone on staff to make initial contact with each patient that comes in. When a patient approaches the front desk, they need eye contact from the person behind the desk. They can see that the recep- tionist is busy or on the phone, but they still need someone to acknowledge their presence. I’m the patient. When you enter the exam room, and you’re looking at the chart when you speak to me, you’ve missed an opportunity to connect on a personal level. If you then try to be social, that really doesn’t work. In the exam room, you want to make eye contact, introduce yourself, and call the patient by name, under- standing that no matter what you say, most of your communication with the patient comes from body language or tone of voice. little rock pediatric clinic's call center is completely separate from its waiting room. Since we’ve moved to electronic medical records, we’ve learned so much more about body language. What happens now is that we’re missing the subtle physical cues patients are giving when we ask them a question—and they’re missing our sincerity because we’re fo- cused on the tablet. I get it that we must use EMR, but let the patient know that you’re still there by saying things like “What you said is important, I want to get this in the computer.” Also, if you knock on the door, wait for a response before you enter. If you can sit down and converse with the patient at eye level, that >>Continued on page 202. We provide peace of mind so you can, too. Your Northwest Arkansas Health Law Team We’ve been addressing the legal needs of the Arkansas healthcare industry for almost 120 years. • Medicare/Medicaid Reimbursement • Licensure Matters & Board Hearings • Contracts & Business Transactions • Privileging & Peer Review • Stark I and II & Anti-Kickback Compliance • Government Regulations • Operations & Management • Medical Device & Pharmaceutical Products Defense Volume 116 • Number 9 • Employment Issues • HIPAA Compliance & Training • Medical Malpractice Defense Rogers Little Rock wlj.com • Drug Diversion Prevention MARCH 2020 • 201