Healthcare Storytelling: Using Narratives to Transform Patient Care
Stories can touch our hearts and change our minds. It is especially true in healthcare, where narratives can be used to transform patient care. Stories can be used to educate and engage patients and caregivers alike.
A patient-centered approach to care requires that we treat the whole person, not just the illness.
And stories are a powerful way to do that. Patient engagement is essential to quality care, and stories can be used to connect with patients on a deeper level.
Read more: Patient Engagement in Healthcare: How Understanding The Patient Experience Produces Better Outcomes.
Here, you will understand the power of storytelling in healthcare and discuss how you can use narratives to improve your patients’ experiences.
What Is Storytelling in Healthcare?
Storytelling is the act of sharing a story. In healthcare, storytelling can be used as a tool to educate, engage, and empower patients and caregivers. When done well, healthcare stories can transform lives.
For example, a cardiologist may tell the story of a heart attack patient. Through the story, the cardiologist can educate the patient on the importance of lifestyle changes and medication adherence. The story can also engage the patient by making them feel seen and understood. Finally, the story can empower the patient to make positive changes in their life.
While stories have the power to transform lives, they must be used wisely. In healthcare, stories can sometimes do more harm than good. For example, a story about a patient who died from a preventable disease may cause fear and anxiety. Therefore, it is essential only to share stories that will be helpful and informative.
How To Use Narratives To Transform Patient Care?
A Harvard Business Review article named ‘ Why Your Brain Loves Good Story-telling?’ discusses the importance of stories in our lives. A neurochemical called oxytocin is released when we hear a story that resonates with us on an emotional level. This ‘cuddle hormone’ lowers stress levels and makes us feel more trusting and connected to others.
In healthcare, stories have the power to heal. When a patient shares their story with a doctor, it can help the doctor make a diagnosis or choose the best course of treatment. A doctor telling a patient a story can help the patient feel understood and hopeful.
Here are some ways you can use narratives to transform patient care:
– Encourage patients to share their stories with you.
– Tell your own stories to patients.
– Use stories in health education materials.
– Share inspiring stories of recovery with patients.
Compassionate and effective healthcare requires good communication between patients and doctors. One way to improve communication is by using narratives or stories. When patients share their stories with a doctor, it can help the doctor make a diagnosis or choose the best course of treatment.
Sequence Health provides the best healthcare engagement solutions. We use data and insights to design and implement inbound and outbound patient engagement programs that drive results.