What happens behind the closed doors of the exam room between doctor and patient drives everything else in health care – patient health status, patient adherence, referrals, ER visits, hospital admissions and re-admissions, patient ssatisfaction and so on. Other than our own personal experience and some vague top line satisfaction survey data, we health care professionals (non-physicians) really know very little about how doctors in our organizations talk with and relate to patients one another once the exam room door closes.
We Know Even Less About The Impact Of Different Styles of Physician-Patient Communication In Our Organizations
For example, what impact does a paternalistic, physician-directed communication style have on patient activation and engagement in hospital-owned physician practices? Or how successful will a physician with poor patient- centered communication skills be when it comes to managing the health of a patient population in an ACO? Can physicians with poor communication skills hope to retain members attributed to the ACO? How much money will your organization forfeit next year in incentives and penalties due to poor physician-patient communications resulting in preventable re-admissions and sub-optimal patient experiences?
Exciting New Research Provide Invaluable Insights Into How Physicians And Patients In Your Market Communication With One Another…And The Implications For Your Organization
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I will be analyzing the patient communication skills of 2,500 HIPPA-compliant physician-patient interviews collected from across the U.S. The goal of the research will be to deconstruct what primary care doctors and their patients say (and don’t say) to one another and how they say. We will then benchmark the patient communication skills of physicians in the study against agreed upon industry best practices – aka patient-centered communications. Ideally the results can be used by hospitals, physician groups, ACOs and health plans to improve the patient-centered communication skills of primary care physicians across the country.
As more details of this excite new research become available you will find them here at Mind the Gap first. I look forward to helping advance the field of physician-patient communications. More importantly, I look forward to doing what I can to disseminate and make actionable the finding on behalf of those who will benefits the most – patients.