Communication and Disclosure Training Program

June 28, 2018 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Effective communication with patients is an extremely important aspect of healthcare. People feel cared for when providers take the time to talk to them and listen to their concerns. Ineffective communication can lead to medical error when patients do not understand how to care for themselves, and they become dissatisfied when they don't understand why they need to do something or why something is being done to them. These problems are multiplied in the event of an unanticipated outcome. After an unanticipated outcome, care providers must explain what happened. Disclosure must be undertaken carefully, however, because once done it cannot be undone. This training program explains how to communicate effectively with patients generally, as well as how to disclose an unanticipated outcome.

Effective communication and collaboration with patients and their families are key characteristics of a culture of safety. Patients and their families can play key roles in promoting patient safety. Many of the ways in which patients and family members can fulfill these roles center on open communication with clinicians. This communication is part of the rationale for Joint Commission's "Speak Up" campaign, in which patients are encouraged to become involved in preventing errors in their care by ensuring the accuracy of their health information and questioning care on their own behalf. In addition to the "Speak Up" campaign, the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)...

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