Are we asking the right questions when we talk about building patient trust? Maybe we need to talk, instead, about what we can do to make patients feel safe. Here is the article I reference in the episode: Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why.

Highlights include:

8:22 – JM: “What if, whenever we hear the phrase ‘doesn’t trust,’ we substituted it with ‘doesn’t feel safe?’ How is that going to change our perspective? Would we respond differently to someone who was ‘untrusting’ versus someone who ‘didn’t feel safe with us?'”

10:56 – JM: “I’m wondering, would we get farther – instead of yelling at them or publicly shaming them – if we ask them what makes them uncomfortable? If we ask them, you know, why they feel that wearing a mask is an unsafe thing? And ask what would make them feel safer about it?”

12:25 – JM: “Black mothers are 243% more likely to die of pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. So let me ask you, don’t you think a pregnant Black woman in the US right now has reason to be distrustful? Of course, because she actually is unsafe.” Statistic source: Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why

13:30 – JM: “We’ve got high levels of violence and hostility from patients towards providers, especially in emergency room settings. And that’s going to impact providers’ ability to be open and trusting of patients.”

13:44 – JM: “We have this tendency to act as if trust is a switch that we can just turn on and off. We say, ‘just trust me’, or ‘you can trust me.’ But when we think of it as safety, we can see how ridiculous that is because you can’t just be safe with someone. The situation actually needs to be safe.”

15:45 – JM: “For your business, the easiest thing you can do to build trust is to get more information about your customer. The more you understand them, the more you know who they are and what they’re looking for from you, the more you can create a website and marketing materials that address their needs in the right stage with the right words. That’s how you do it, because then you don’t have to ask them to trust you. They will know they can trust you because they will see that you already understand them.”

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash