Estimating the Cost of Skin Cancer Detection
April 9, 2018
There’s a simple act you’ve done with all your patients that you’ve probably been doing incorrectly. Yes, that is rather a bold assertion, but I’ll bet no one ever taught you the proper way. It’s only recently, after having done it thousands of times, that I came to realize there is a better way to give a handshake.
Handshakes come both at the critical first moment and at the close of patient interactions. The first helps establish who you are as a doctor and reassures your patient that you’re both capable and trustworthy. At the end of the visit, it seals the agreement wherein they commit to take your advice (or at least try) and you commit to do whatever necessary to help them.
For patients I’ve never met, I often proffer my hand turned slightly upward for our first handshake. This subtle sign of submission shows I’m open and committed to them. For our closing handshake, I have my hand turned slightly downward so that my hand is slightly over theirs. This conveys that I’m confident in what I’ve said and done and that now I want them to uphold their part in our agreement.
I’ve been using the above technique for a few years now with success. It has helped with my patient satisfaction scores, and importantly, has helped me manage difficult patients for whom trust in our relationship is invaluable.
Dr. Benabio is director of Healthcare Transformation and chief of dermatology at Kaiser Permanente San Diego. The opinions expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Benabio ison Twitter. Write to him at .
April 9, 2018