Patient Trust Is Key to Driving Recovery in Healthcare

Spencer Price, MDMy name is Spencer Price, MD, MPH, MBA. I have practiced internal and emergency medicine for 20 years and have held numerous medical administrative positions at several Georgia hospitals. I’m board certified in internal medicine, disaster medicine, and administrative medicine through the Member Boards of American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS).

COVID-19 has had an obvious and significant impact on healthcare delivery in the United States in recent months, from a patient, healthcare provider, and healthcare administrator perspective. Fear of being exposed to the virus has caused many patients to avoid seeking needed healthcare resources, including routine care and, in some circumstances, even emergency care. Provider interactions with patients often have also been significantly altered to accommodate personal protective equipment and enhanced infection control measures.

The Need for Reliable Information

When COVID-19 first emerged, the greatest danger faced by patients, healthcare providers, and healthcare administrators was uncertainty. There were many questions and few answers: What was the means of transmission? Who, among the population at large, was most vulnerable? What were the most effective treatment regimens? Since then, however, certain trends have been identified, and a consensus regarding many of these questions has emerged. The challenge now facing healthcare providers and administrators is providing this information to patients in a straightforward, non-technical manner that can be readily absorbed.

Most patients tend to be emotionally prepared for even the most difficult situations as long as they possess a clear understanding of the circumstances they face. With knowledge of a disease process, potential outcomes, and available options, most patients feel empowered to make informed decisions, thus reducing their anxiety.

What Can Healthcare Administrators Do to Help?

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved the greatest medical emergency of the modern era, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold suffering. Nevertheless, one possible positive outcome of this tragedy is that Americans may now be more willing to seek proper immunizations against communicable diseases such as COVID and new strains of flu. Healthcare administrators should promote such outcomes and seek to ensure these vaccines are available in sufficient supply to meet public demand. With the public’s heightened sensitivity toward infectious diseases, patients may, from now on, expect the availability of additional protective measures such as convenient handwashing stations and hand sanitizer, respiratory droplet barrier devices such as plexiglass shields, and disposable facemasks.

Regarding communicable diseases, the new paradigm for healthcare administrators is vigilance. Administrators must closely follow information and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and related agencies in order to “stay ahead of the game” regarding emerging infectious diseases.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

ABPS is a leading advocate for its Diplomates, their patients, and the public at large by promoting high-quality evidence-based patient care. ABPS certifies physicians through industry-leading rigorous examinations in various boards and offers continuous recertification making sure that these physicians are qualified to practice safe state of the art medicine.

Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
In this time of uncertainty, Disaster Medicine Certification has helped tremendously to demonstrate to hospital leadership my commitment to disaster preparedness and knowledge of planning, response, and mitigation. ABODM certification focuses on the knowledge and skills a physician needs to become a recognized leader in the four stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing.

Lewis W, Marshall, MD, JD, FAAEP, FAADM
Disaster Medicine | Emergency Medicine
ABPS board certification validates a physician's competence in their medical specialty. This is important to a patient seeking medical care. Physician recertification through ABPS assures that we maintain knowledge and expertise throughout our career. The ABPS is a collegial and committed organization of physicians and administrative staff. The organization has given me the opportunity to become involved in all facets of the board certification process and physician governance.

Lawrence Stein, MD, FAASOS
Orthopedic Surgery