Trust-Based Partnerships Are Essential - and Achievable - in Health Care Service. Academic Article uri icon


  • When people think about trust in the context of health care, they typically focus on whether patients trust the competence of doctors and other health professionals. But for health care to reach its full potential as a service, trust must also include the notion of partnership, whereby patients see their clinicians as reliable, caring, shared decision-makers who provide ongoing "healing" in its broadest sense. Four interrelated service-quality concepts are central to fostering trust-based partnerships in health care: empathetic creativity, discretionary effort, seamless service, and fear mitigation. Health systems and institutions that prioritize trust-based partnerships with patients have put these concepts into practice using several concrete approaches: investing in organizational culture; hiring health professionals for their values, not just their skills; promoting continuous learning; attending to the power of language in all care interactions; offering patients "go-to" sources for timely assistance; and creating systems and structures that have trust built into their very design. It is in the real-world implementation of trust-based partnership that health care can reclaim its core mission.

published proceedings

  • Mayo Clin Proc

altmetric score

  • 25.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Berry, L. L., Awdish, R., Letchuman, S., & Steffensen, K. D.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Berry, Leonard L||Awdish, Rana LA||Letchuman, Sunjay||Steffensen, Karina Dahl

publication date

  • July 2021