Communication is ineffective if patients walk out of the doctor’s room and are unaware of what the root cause of their illness is, or if they are unsure about what preventive steps to be taken. Most of the time, doctors are unable to measure the extent of this poor communication, and it is the patients who have to bear the consequences. As a middle manager, I would incorporate communication as a core elective in medical schools. This would teach the new doctors how to partner with their patients to fully understand them. In-house programs or training courses offered by external organizations would be viable options in teaching the physicians (AHRQ, 2008). Physician-patient communication may best be taught through the use of seminars and training workshops as it would help the trainer cover a vast area of skills.
Moreover, physicians may be taught skills how to communicate across cultural boundaries and how to deal with “problem” patients. Communicating across cultures would not just be helpful in dealing with patients but it would also aid them in communicating effectively with coworkers. Effective communication with coworkers is essential because this is the major source of information inflow in this industry. Weak communication skills would mean distorted information. Consequently, many clinical errors are made which does not only affect patients but has a negative impact upon the healthcare organization in general (Parker, Coiera, 2000).
Training that would teach individuals in the healthcare sector should be demonstrative. The trainer must deduce ways that allow the people attending the session to have hands on experience. This could include role-play and various interviewing techniques that would allow people to have first-hand experience. Furthermore, the communication techniques can be built upon before implementing it on patients and would allow the physician to make the necessary changes. The physician must ensure that they are not too harsh and blunt with patients. Some types of information need to be relayed in a subtle manner and training seminars would help doctors identify such situations.
Parker, J., & Coiera, E. (2000). Improving Clinical Communication. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 5, 453-461.
Training to Advance Physicians' Communication Skills. (n.d.). Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from https://cahps.ahrq.gov/quality-improvement/improvement-guide/browse-interventions/Communication/Physicians-Comm-Training/index.html