7 Reasons Why Personality Matters in Patient Care

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Did you know that one patient represents about $200,000 in lifetime income for a typical practice? Because medical care is more and more customer driven, the patient experience is one of the most important factors in attracting and keeping patients, and to your survival as a healthcare organization.

Every component of the patient journey matters, including patient outreach, pre-visit interactions with providers and staff, and post-visit follow-up. Your ability to deliver the best possible experience at every touch point determines whether or not patients show up for their visits, and whether they keep coming back.

Leading hospitals are growing profitability not by cutting costs, but by excelling in the patient experience.

Personality has a huge impact on the patient experience. 

Personality is all these things:

  • Perceptual filters: How you take in and process the world around you.
  • Communication preferences: How you like to exchange with others.
  • Environmental preferences: How you prefer to interact with the world around you.
  • Motivational Needs: How you are motivated and what fills your tank.
  • Character Strengths: Your natural capabilities, those things you love to do and come more easily.
  • Distress behaviors: How we go about getting negative attention when our motivational needs aren’t met positively.
  • Emotional triggers: Emotional issues that are more difficult for us to deal with authentically. Those things we would prefer to avoid or make disappear. They keep us up at night.

Why personality matters in patient care:

  1. Patients “hear” you more clearly when the message is delivered through their favorite perceptual filter. How you say something is often more important than what you say. Matching your patient’s perceptual filter is the best way to establish rapport and trust. There are six different perceptions, detectable through words and non-verbals. Lack of empathy, “feeling heard,” is one of the biggest patient complaints.
  2. Patients stay engaged when you use their favorite communication style. Miscommunication invites mistrust and disengagement.
  3. Meeting patients “where they are at” means attending to their favorite environmental preference. Are you creating a touch points where patients feel comfortable? Don’t discount impact of non-clinical interactions;¬†96% of patient complaints are related to customer service.
  4. Patients will participate more actively in their care when they can use their character strengths. How are you leveraging your patients’ natural gifts for their benefit?
  5. Patients are more satisfied and involved when interactions fill their tank. Motivational needs are huge drivers of satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.
  6. When patients don’t get their personality-based motivational needs met positively, they will get those same needs met negatively in distress. They become resistant, disengaged, avoidant, suspicious, controlling, and blaming. They are more likely to spread bad publicity and sue. One 370-bed hospital system was forfeiting $700k in new patient revenue because of negative word-of-mouth and migration of dissatisfied patients.
  7. An emotional connection is the heart of loyalty. Tending to a patient’s emotional triggers builds that connection.

What do you have to gain by increasing your personality-based patient care intelligence? Increased revenue with more booked and kept appointments, reduced migration, better payment rates, higher staff, provider and patient satisfaction, greater loyalty, less distractions from great clinical care, and lifetime relationships with satisfied patients.

If your model isn’t helping you do these things, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. You can do all of this with the Process Communication Model. We’ll teach you how.


Learn how personality applies to Customer Service and Sales as well.


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