Home Case Studies Health Care Sector Coaching in Health Care: The Patient-Physician Relationship and the Role of the Physician Leader

Coaching in Health Care: The Patient-Physician Relationship and the Role of the Physician Leader

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Michael G. Cassatly, DMD
William Bergquist, PhD

During the 1990’s managed care became the model for healthcare delivery in the US with the goals of delivering healthcare to a greater number of patients at reduced costs. Although the goals were laudable, the increased number of patients receiving healthcare and decreased reimbursement to physicians has resulted in less time per encounter, thereby weakening the patient-physician relationship. In this article, professional coaching skills are presented that show how to regain the quality of the physician-patient relationship, as well as prepare physicians for the new leadership roles required in the changing world of health care.

The Physician-Patient Relationship

The coupling of finance to healthcare delivery in the managed care model was intended to control the costs of healthcare and make healthcare accessible to more people.   These objectives have resulted in fundamental changes in the patient-physician relationship. An unintended consequence of this altered relationship is a loss of trust between the patient and their physician, resulting in less successful patient outcomes and greater healthcare expenditures. The challenge is to mitigate this unintended side-effect to the patient-physician relationship. We will show that the successful application of  business coaching to physicians will restore patient-physician trust leading to a stronger relationship, more successful patient outcomes and reduced healthcare expenditures.

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