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Communication is key

Effective communication is vital to excellent patient experience, quality care, team function and educational outcomes. Teaching is built around a relationship between the learner and the teacher just as clinical care is built around a relationship between a patient and a provider. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are the essential elements of both and communication is key.

In our work with clients we begin with a planning process: defining goals, assessing needs, and developing measurable and achievable outcomes for which to aim.  We view our consulting as a process of communicating with our clients to collaboratively build faculty development that effectively meets their needs.

These are some of the areas in which we can help:

  • Coaching individual faculty members about their communication with colleagues, patients, students, and supervisors
  • Defining and addressing with individual practitioners areas that may be inhibiting their successful medical practice or academic career, such as issues of anger management or professionalism
  • Working with teams, especially inter-professional teams to enhance communication and teaching
  • Assisting with curriculum development

Workshops, simulations and online modules from our teaching and consulting portfolio:

  • Disclosure and Apology
  • Consulting on communication simulation design and debriefing
  • Palliative care and end of life goals
  • Challenging Communication with Patients and Families
    • Caring for Angry Patients and Families: Dealing with Strong Emotions
    • Patient at the Center of Care
  • Teamwork in a Complex Healthcare Environment

Team Intervention Example:  

In order to improve patient experience in an ICU, we conducted a needs assessment to explored perceived needs, unit strengths, root causes of problems, and some possible solutions. Workshops were built to develop a family-centered perspective through increased communication and improved team functioning.

Results: working closely with the client, we jointly uncovered many issues and misunderstandings among team members. The interdisciplinary nature of the program gave participants a forum to begin talking to each other. Evaluations indicated a high degree of satisfaction with content and method. Suggestions for improving team function in the ICU were made and a set of recommendations from the staff and from the CFDC were presented to management. A "commitment to change" list was generated by the participants.

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