Can a simple conversation between a patient and a clinician improve that patient’s health outcomes?
Medicine is so predicated on science – which consists of physical interventions, like taking medications and undergoing surgery – that the impact of “just” words may be overlooked.
By Patricia Iyer MSN RN LNCC
(Pat is a legal nurse consultant who provides education to healthcare providers about patient safety. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I went to see a gastroenterologist (Doctor A) because I am due for a colonoscopy. I had a colonoscopy done 4 years ago by a different doctor (Doctor B), and one closer to home. Doctor A wanted to know why I had not returned to Doctor B for this new one. I explained Doctor B and I had not clicked. This is what happened, and it is a good lesson for what not to say or do to a patient. Read More
by Michèle Curtis, CeeShell Consulting, lead editor of “Glass’ Office Gynecology”
As the world becomes more global and more technological, opportunities for communication errors only increases. Communication errors are one of the fundamental precursors for safety and quality errors in healthcare. Supporting this is data showing that a shared language between health care provider and patient results in better outcomes and quality as well as improved hospital costs and patient satisfaction. In the healthcare setting, we rely on the words as well as the physical cues and signals patients give us when they are telling us their story. But if the provider and the patient don’t speak the same language, the risk for misunderstandings and errors increases dramatically, especially if they try to ‘muddle through’ or if information is obtained through a family member or friend who is helping to translate. Read More