The following is an excerpt from an opinion piece written by our co-founder, Christine Bechtel, and published in USA Today:
The breakdown of relationships is bringing health care to the breaking point.
In conversations with hundreds of health professionals, I’ve heard that it’s all but impossible to develop the kind of genuine relationships that facilitate better health for patients and higher professional satisfaction for doctors. No wonder half of doctors and nurses are burned out.
No wonder they are leaving health care in droves. And no wonder about half of
Americans say health care is getting worse.
The pandemic didn’t help at all, thanks to virtual visits, masks that hide smiles and the politicization of medical treatment that introduced distrust into the doctor-patient relationship.
The lack of connection like I experienced is costly in both human and financial terms.
Studies show a strong doctor-patient relationship improves patient health outcomes.
Evidence also shows that a continuous bond between a patient and primary doctor reduces costs. Without it, patients will go anywhere for care, regardless of quality or cost. They go to pharmacies, urgent care and emergency rooms, instead of coordinating with a single physician. The result is as well documented as it is painful: higher costs and poorer health.
There is an urgent need to restore relationships to the heart of health care. Patient well-
being, physician fulfillment and health care spending depend on it.
Learn more about 3rd Conversation and how we are working to infuse relationships, empathy, and human connection back into the health care system