The latest edition of ‘The Osteopath’ (Aug/Sept 2015) includes some welcome practical advice for osteopaths in response to the findings of a survey commissioned by GOsC considering ‘What do patients expect from their treatment?’ The results are well worth a read. Once again the GOsC is standing out from other regulators by providing practitioners with information to help you build an outstanding practice. I think the survey results could safely be applied across many professions providing healthcare – patients what good information and good communication.
I wondered if the article heading should be ‘What information do patients want?’ as that is the general focus of the results. The survey answers apply more to the patient journey with little detail on actual treatment expectations. It would be interesting to investigate what patients mean by ‘good treatment’ which is the number one factor for giving confidence in osteopathy. There are always more avenues for research – perhaps an opportunity for someone.
The survey shows that patients want information in advance of their treatment about what to expect from treatment, benefits, risks, costs and treatment options. Building patient’s confidence in you as a practitioner can be summarised as GOOD COMMUNICATION – patients want advice, to be listened to and to understand their condition and take part in planning treatment. The weakness of these surveys is that they put the suggestion to the patient. For example, if you are asked whether you would like information about risks of treatment you may well think that would be welcome information but it might not be something you would have thought of needing until it was suggested by the survey question.
The GOsC magazine expands on the survey with an article encouraging practitioners to provide pre-treatment information covering the items identified as important to patients. NCOR, as always, give some solid advice regarding communicating risk – page 18. The survey results also shows that patients appreciate being listened to and therefore GOsC encourage obtaining patient feedback and directs practitioners to appropriate resources.
So in one edition practitioners are being encouraged to provide pre-treatment information, communicate risks, and obtain patient feedback. If that causes you to sigh that you don’t have time to do these things – you want to provide a better service to your patients but when will you have time to research and prepare the information needed. Mint is here to help practitioners like you – we have done the hard-work for you so you can provide the information your patients want.
You can use the Mint osteopathic pre-treatment booklets and leaflets for communicating benefits and risks to patients using the latest research evidence. In the Mint Folder there is guidance on communicating benefits and risks and a patient satisfaction survey prepared for you. Mint has followed the GOsC practice standards and prepared resources to enable you to satisfy the standards and thereby provide what patients want and enhance your practice.
Have a look at our resources now: