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How Can Physicians Improve Patient Care?

Medical professionals need to think beyond just numbers on a chart to improve patient care. They must consider how certain factors impact patients’ overall health, well-being, and quality of life.

For example, if a patient has diabetes, physicians must be mindful of how their blood sugar levels affect their overall health and well-being.

Educate Patients

Physicians are responsible for educating their patients about the causes of health problems and how to respond to them. This information can be important in determining how to treat their symptoms, manage their health and interpret their clinical test results.

Effective education empowers patients to take an active role in their care and can increase their motivation to adhere to treatment plans. This improves patient outcomes, reduces health costs, and minimizes complications.

Encourage Self-Care

Physicians prioritizing self-care can better handle burnout, compassion fatigue, and moral distress. This can lead to job engagement, compassion satisfaction, and resilience, among other positive effects.

However, many physicians don’t practice the amount of self-care they want to. Most cite job demands and family commitments as the main barriers to practicing self-care.

Encourage Healthy Lifestyles

Health-promoting lifestyles include regular physical activity, nutritious diets, and avoiding harmful habits such as smoking. These behaviors can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and improve quality of life.

Physicians from your clinics, such as Medical Doctor Network, can encourage healthy lifestyles by facilitating patients to incorporate minor improvements into their daily lives. This will eventually snowball into more significant changes over time.

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits can help reduce your risk for heart disease, obesity, and other chronic diseases.

Physicians can encourage patients to make small changes to their diets. They should also encourage their patients to set a goal and stick with it for the long term.

Physicians can also promote healthier eating by modeling good behavior themselves. For example, they can eat fruits and vegetables with their meals instead of mindless snacking.

Encourage Physical Activity

A recent study found that doctors are more likely to counsel patients about exercise if they are active. Therefore, physicians should encourage their patients to exercise regularly, no matter how little time they have.

Physical activity is important for physical health and helps patients manage their mental health with the help of various ways, such as walking, playing sports, dancing, or organizing an office bowling team.

Encourage Mental Health

Taking care of your mental health is essential to staying healthy. It can help you be more resilient and handle stress better.

Educating your employees on mental health can reduce their negative perceptions about the topic and encourage them to seek support when necessary. This will lead to decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.

Encourage Social Support

A positive social support network can help people deal with stressful events and improve their mental health. This can be emotional (or nurturance), informational, or tangible (or instrumental) support.

These supportive resources are often a person’s primary source of comfort and safety during difficult times. They may include friends, family members, coworkers, and caregivers.

Encourage Mental Health Counseling

Many physicians, including those operating the front lines of the pandemic, are burnt out. 

Physicians must understand that mental health issues are common and readily manageable. That’s why healthcare systems must enact a culture of treatment for mental health on par with physical health.

Encourage Physical Activity

Regular physical activity improves health and reduces the risk of chronic disease and death.

It can be done at any age and level of ability, improving muscle strength, bone density, balance, and flexibility.

Physicians can encourage patients to increase their physical activity by recording their current levels of training and referring them to appropriate resources. These could include programs, places, and professionals in their community or self-directed resources such as activity trackers and mobile phone apps.

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