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Physician Tips

The Prescription for Patient Experience (Rx for PX)

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Tip for September: Build Trust by Managing Up

This installment of Rx for PX focuses on Managing Up, a technique used to simply create a positive impression of others before the patient or family meets them. Below we explore the value of utilizing this skill, as well as provide some examples of applying it when engaging in conversation with our patients.

Managing Up is a concept that goes far under-utilized by individuals in the medical field. It is a valuable skill that supports consciously communicating and working with your patient to obtain the best possible results for the patient, the comprehensive clinical team, and the organization. The more you broaden your understanding of the patient, the more confidence and trust you will build with them. It is a patient-centered approach to engaging your patient!

The goal is to positively position others to put your patient at ease. The benefits are:

Managing up yourself and your team can often be done with an initial introduction that serves as a “hand-off” and transfer of trust between one provider and another. It is about establishing a connection, while creating a link for what is to come next. It assists with the way we engage in referral services and support with easing any concerns patients may have when not directly in our care.

Managing up helps the patient experience by alleviating patient concerns about the service and quality of care they will experience in our care and beyond. When used repetitively, it can be useful to decrease anxiety in your patient.

Putting it into Action:

During bedside shift report and patient hand-off

“Hello, Mr. Ortiz. I will be going home to my family now. Justin is taking my place. In fact, I just shared with Justin all of your important information. Justin is a registered nurse whom I have worked with for over five years, and he is excellent. I hear such nice compliments about him from our patients.”

Figure 1 . Understanding “Managing Up” (Hare, 2013)

Prior to a procedure

“Hello, Mr. Ortiz. I see this afternoon you will be going downstairs to the Diagnostic Imaging department. Diagnostic Imaging has state‐of‐the‐art technology and an excellent staff. They are aware you will be having a procedure this afternoon and are prepared for you. Our goal is for you to be very satisfied.”

Prior to physician/clinician rounding

“Mr. Ortiz, I see Dr. Brown is your physician. She is excellent. She is very good at listening and will answer all of your questions. You will be pleased with the care you receive from Dr. Brown.”

The bottom line is that better communication among physicians and between physician and patient can help improve the entire health care experience. We want our patients to know that they can have confidence in us and our partners in all the care they receive. We are committed to the patient experience pledge; providing high quality care is based on always providing courteous, respectful service… every person, every time!