How to deal with angry patients

Being a doctor or a caretaker is not an easy job role to handle, as there is no guarantee as to when can your patient get upset with you over petty issues. Read the tips given below to find out how you can efficiently handle your angry patients.

Deal with your patient’s problem confidentially

Do not forget the angry patient is not the only patient you are dealing with, as there are others within the premises too. It makes wise sense to move your complaining patient to a private room immediately when you see any indication of quarrel. Save yourself and your staff from embarrassment or stimulate onlookers by arguing in the passage of the hospital. Privately try to understand the problem that has been troubling your patients. Do not overreact or back answer first, let them vent out their anger, while you serenely try to comprehend the reason behind their building up anger. Remain as calm as possible and initiate similar behavior pattern within your staff, as this helps your complainer too to ease down. Avoid raising your voice or arguing in front of other patients as it gives out a wrong message about yourself and the hospital as well.

Sum up and review the problem

Once your angry patient has vented out all of his/her anger, inquire if there is anything more they have missed out. Request them calmly to express and let you know all that has been upsetting them. Do not get argumentative or start quarreling over any of the issues, without having them say what they need to, as this might built up the anger even more. Listen and try to understand the problem and give them your valuable comments later. During this process, make sure not to blame any of the third parties, comprising medical suppliers or laboratories. The problem is yours as you are in direct contact with your third parties. In addition, since you are running the clinic or hospital, it becomes entirely your responsibility to handle every queries, issues and problems of your patients effectively.

Make an apology and provide a solution

Even if the fault is not yours, apologize on your behalf, as this will help reduce your patient’s intense anger. If you believe that you can solve the problem effectively, suggest a solution on the spot. Think over the solution and then suggest it, do not make a hasty decision, as you do not want to upset your patients even more by giving a wrong solution. In cases where you patient still do not agree to compromise, and when worst feelings arise within you about things slipping out of hand, refund or replacement is the only way out through the mess created. However, make sure not to use this method for any and every patient, since you are running a business yourself. Try to avoid making mistakes in the future and learn to solve your patients’ problems (if they tend to arise) effectively.

Delegate responsibilities if necessary

Staff members having adequate authority should be delegated the task to handle patient facing any problems. However, in cases where a particular person in charge cannot handle the problem effectively, make sure that he directs the patient immediately to someone who can. Keep your patient involved while solving their problems and be ensuring them that problems as such will never arise again and you will work towards handling it effectively. Give them a quick response and try to solve their problems on an immediate basis. This way you will prove how professional you are and how your patients can rely on you for their health.

Always be courteous and proficient in manner

Clinic and hospitals are place where patients come with the intention of being healed. Provide them convenient care without increasing their troubles. If there are certain things that need to be changed to keep in accordance with your patients, then don’t think twice, just do it. Solve your angry patients complain in a courteous and proficient manner. No matter how bitter the experience might have been for you and your staff; follow it up with a letter or phone call to patients thanking them for conveying the problem to your awareness. Also, give an assurance to them that you will work towards it.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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