Improving Trust and Health Care Use with Empathy Research: A Need for Health Care Providers
TIMBS Consulting provides research services in the medical and health care fields. One area we specialize in is what we call “Empathy Research”. This is research designed to address a major problem currently plaguing the US Health Care System, lack of trust and dissatisfaction among those who need services. For years, people have reported feeling disrespected, ignored, not taken seriously, and neglected when visiting doctors and hospitals. Their trust in doctors, medical services, and the US Health Care System is in shambles.
This is a big problem that health care professionals can no longer ignore.
Why Trust Matter?
There are a number of structural factors that impede people’s access to quality health care in the US. Insurance, transportation, and cost all impede people from getting the care they need. But another significant factor is trust. Trust is the glue that holds societies together and enables voluntary interactions. Trust is important for health care providers because without it, even those who can access services won’t go or will wait till it’s too late.
Implications for Public Health:
When people don’t trust their doctors or the health care system, they don’t get the health care they need. They avoid preventative care, they wait to contact their doctors as their health worsens, and they don’t follow post-care instructions. This is the case even with those who have access to care, and it exacerbates existing structural factors among the nation’s poor, women, racial, ethnic, and trans communities. It leads to undue family trauma, increased mortality rates, and people dying too young for a country with resources like the US.
Additionally, it’s costly for insurance companies, hospitals, and health management systems because patients need more expensive care and longer inpatient recovery.
The Worsening Future:
The consequences of distrust and dissatisfaction for hospitals and medical providers are likely to worsen in the coming years. As Baby Boomers age and their health care needs grow, these problems will place a heavy burden on our hospital system and hospice care.
Fixing this Trend:
Understanding why people don’t trust their doctors and the roots of their dissatisfaction will go a long way towards reversing this unnecessary and harmful trend. It starts at the local level, with hospitals, community health centers, and doctors all taking this problem seriously and putting in the work to fix it.
This is where TIMBS Consulting can help. We conduct research with health care users and those who avoid the system so we can uncover the underlying issues that affect trust and improve health care use. A little investment in empathy research today can go a long way to improving health care satisfaction and use in the near future.
Contact Stephen at TIMBS Consulting to learn more (firstname.lastname@example.org)