Follow the five principles of AIDET to improve doctor–patient relationship

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Most doctor–patient disputes today are because of a communication gap or miscommunication. To ensure a better doctor–patient relationship, there are etiquettes that doctors should observe, whenever a patient comes to your for consultation.

First, remember the acronym AIDET, it represents the principles that doctors should follow to communicate better with their patients and build a doctor–patient relationship based on mutual trust and respect. These principles are:

Acknowledge: This means that whenever a patient comes to you greet him, call him by his/her name.

  1. Introduce: Introduce yourself or any other member of your staff to the patient and what will be doing for the patient.
  2. Duration: Keep your patient informed about for how long the treatment would continue or, any waiting time.
  3. Explain: Always tell your patients about the diagnosis, the tests or procedures in terms that they are able to understand. This is the concept of informed consent.
  4. Thank you: Say thank you to the patient. Doing this will develop trust and respect in the patient for you as his/her physician

Secondly, doctors should be ‘self IOS certified’. This means:

  1. Do what you say: For example, if you have told your patient that you would be late by one hour, make sure that it is only one hour and not later than that
  2. Document what you speak and
  3. Preserve what you document

Simply put, these only mean that you should be transparent in your interactions with the patient. This will go a long way in avoiding any potential legal problems.