If you have done your homework and studied everything from our Fast Start Introductory Videos and into the Advanced Psychology Training Materials, you will find a common theme that I bring up when it comes to patient engagement and communication about their pathways to health.
It is the journey that a patient (and actually any customer for any business) must go through in their minds both logically and emotionally – always led by one or the other depending on which dominates an individual’s personality and what compels them to make a decision.
The key to understanding any person’s decision when you involve money, is that it depends on how a person feels about, relates to, and earns money that will often dictate how they decide by either using their emotion or logic to resist or to proceed with spending or investing into anything.
There is much more I will say about this in another place at another time. For today, I simply want to remind you about and call your attention back to the key to motivating your patients to move forward. This will make it easier to get them working with you not against you. Instead of confusing money as a negative, which pulls their minds and emotions in the opposite direction, we keep the focus on what is in their best interest.
Now, the most significant factor to focus on is the building up the clinical value based on the outcome (whether gaining benefits or avoiding consequences) in the patients’ lives and health as a result of moving forward with their pathway to health.
The more meaningful the clinical value (and impact of their lives), the less the patients will use money as a default justification to delay or deny themselves of the decision; which can become the biggest roadblock to helping them.
Just know, as you surely do, the significance of the outcome must be developed – it doesn’t happen on its own by chance.
There are three thoughts and feelings a patient should have that you want to deliberately take them through in order to help them on their journey. You are going to be moving them from need to want to deserve of the outcome and the value exchange.
The point of these three words are that they are both thoughts and feelings which can be justified in either direction. There is usually no middle ground, indifference, or neutral stance. It is either a yes or a no, a positive or a negative. It is your goal to help the patient recognize, reason, and suppress each of these thresholds.
Some will get there faster than others and some will be compelled to go there on their own depending on the patient experience, conversations, and education they’ve already had with you and your team. However, you do not want to take anything for granted and you want to be clear on your mission.
I want you to remember that you can’t stop at “need.” Too often we expect a person to accept the fact that he or she “needs” this or that, and will do whatever is necessary to comply. You must address the need but can never assume that’s enough.
The goal in the experience is for a patient to “want” what you are talking about for themselves. This requires taking ownership or responsibility before then moving it to desire of outcome.
Continuing on, and this is when it gets exciting, next is when the patient will begin thinking about money and all the reasons why they should wait or how many other bills they have to pay or uses for their money instead of this. That is where we tip them on scale into deserve by giving them the literal reassurance, comfort, and confidence that not only are they making the best decision for themselves, but that more importantly they deserve it and they deserve it now not later.
Deserve is a powerful feeling and mental state for countless reasons. You have no doubt thought about your own deserve levels as well as your patients’ many times before, including right here with me.
I’m going to stop there and let you just have an open discussion about this Huddle with your team. There is a lot to go through and discuss. Together, you can identify specific areas for improvements in your patient experience, engagement, and communication.
Next week, we’ll take a deeper dive into “deserve.” I’ll talk about why it’s so very important in life and how it can be the difference maker for your patients (and yes, of course, for yourself as well)