10 Simple Steps Gynecologists Can Take to Enhance Patient Experience
A visit to the gynecologist can be a daunting experience for many women. There are a lot of unknowns and it can be an emotionally charged atmosphere. Gynecologists must be aware of their own bias; tending to underestimate pain when it comes to assessing their patients’ pain. However, there are things that gynecologists can do to ease their patients’ anxiety and enhance the patient experience making their visit more pleasant overall.
In one study, more than half of the women experienced worry or anxiety about their health during a pelvic exam. Others also reported feelings of embarrassment, vulnerability, and discomfort. There are a number of factors that contribute to these negative feelings, but gynecologists can take steps to mitigate them.
Making a Few Simple Changes Can Improve the Patient Experience
Here are some simple things gynecologists can do to enhance their patients’ experience:
1. Provide a comprehensive explanation of the exam beforehand.
This can help to ease any anxiety or worry the patient may be feeling. A checklist of what will happen during the exam with benefits and risks can be helpful. This will help the patient to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the exam.
2. Listen to patients carefully and take their concerns seriously.
Doctors interrupt patients and stop listening after 11 seconds on average, according to a study done in 2019. But when patients feel heard and understood, they are more likely to feel comfortable and relaxed. It is important to respect patients’ wishes and preferences. This helps to show that you value their autonomy and want to make sure they are comfortable with the care they are receiving.
3. Take the time to answer their questions thoroughly.
This will help to build trust and confidence between the doctor and the patient. You can also make your own list of questions to ask the patient beforehand to make sure you cover everything they may want to know.
4. Make sure the exam room is clean, calm, and comfortable.
This can help to reduce any feelings of unease or discomfort. A clean space is a relaxing space and it does wonders for how patients respond to their doctors. Simply having the medical space organised and arranged with comfort in mind will enhance the patient experience.
5. Be respectful and considerate at all times.
This includes being gentle and taking care to maintain the patient’s modesty and privacy. It can be recommended to let the patients know in advance that if they asked the physician to stop, the physician will stop.
6. Make sure that appointments are scheduled at a time that is convenient for the patient.
This can help to reduce any stress or inconvenience associated with the visit. As a considerate practice example, one could consider inserting an IUD before the lunch pause, providing resting time during the pause for patients to recover.
7. Follow up with patients after their appointment.
This helps to show that you care about their well-being and want to ensure that they are doing well. This is an essential step to enhance the patient experience.
8. Keep up to date with the latest advancements in gynecology.
This helps to show that you are committed to providing the best possible care for your patients. Inform patients of any new developments that may be relevant to their health.
9. Communicate with compassion and empathy.
This can help to create a warm and caring environment that patients will appreciate. When delivering bad news, do so with sensitivity and understanding.
10. Be available to address any concerns that patients may have.
This shows that you are committed to providing the best possible care and experience for your patients. You may need to refer them to another specialist if their problem falls outside of your area of expertise.
Gynecologists play a vital role in the overall health and well-being of women. By taking some simple steps to enhance the patient experience, they can make a world of difference in the lives of their patients.
Aspivix values the importance of empowering women to make decisions for themselves. We strive in making their healthcare experience a positive one. Our innovations are designed with this principle at heart, focusing on patient-centered care that is informed by modern technology while staying loyal to what’s best from tradition. Carevix™, a suction cervical stabilizer, Aspivix enables physicians a transparent and open conversation with their patients regarding cervix stabilization and maneuver without raising the anxiety triggered by a cervical tenaculum.
 – Maguire K, Morrell K, Westhoff C, Davis A. Accuracy of providers’ assessment of pain during intrauterine device insertion. Contraception. 2014 Jan;89(1):22-4. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2013.09.008. Epub 2013 Sep 21. PMID: 24134898.
 – Yanikkerem, E., Özdemir, M., Bingol, H., Tatar, A., & Karadeniz, G. (2007, December 20). Women’s attitudes and expectations regarding gynaecological examination. Midwifery. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0266613807001106?via%3Dihub
 – Singh Ospina, N., Phillips, K.A., Rodriguez-Gutierrez, R. et al. Eliciting the Patient’s Agenda- Secondary Analysis of Recorded Clinical Encounters. J GEN INTERN MED 34, 36–40 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-018-4540-5
 – https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/pain-at-the-gynecologist-s-office-doesn-t-have-to-be-routine-why-experts-say-that-matters-1.5942953
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