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Virginia Medicaid Appointment Standards

Last update: Nov. 20, 2020

Each year, members respond to a survey on their experience with healthcare.  Based on encounters with healthcare professionals, members told us this year there were opportunities for improvement in three areas:

  • Doctor explaining things in a way that is easy to understand
  • Doctor listening carefully
  • Doctor showing respect for what the patient has to say

To help practicing physicians gain and strengthen an effective and personal communication style, thus improving patient-physician communication and rapport, we are offering a list of practical steps. We hope that these tips will remind you that simple choices in words, information depth, speech patterns, body position and facial expression can greatly affect the quality of one-to-one communication between the patient and physician.

  1. Assess What the Patient Already Knows
  2.  Assess What the Patient Wants to Know
  3. Be Empathic
  4. Slow Down
  5. Keep it Simple
  6. Tell the Truth
  7. Be Hopeful
  8. Watch the Patient’s Body and Face
  9. Be Prepared for a Reaction

Communication traps to avoid

  • Using highly technical language or jargon when communicating with the patient
  • Not showing appropriate concern for problems voiced by the patient
  • Not pausing to listen to the patient
  • Not verifying that the patient has understood the information presented
  • Using an impersonal approach or displaying any degree of apathy in communications
  • Not becoming sufficiently available to the patient

Thank you for taking care of our members!