Monthly Archives: March 2021

Our Stories: The importance of effective provider communication in patient care

Communication is at the center of what we do every day as humans. What I have learned is there are tools and behaviors that we can use to help us be better communicators. During the pandemic, I have learned that with improved communication comes empowerment through knowledge and sometimes, peace and comfort.

Effective communication allows us to develop common expectations, means we must not only speak clearly but also listen intently, and requires some mechanism to assure that there is a closed loop–what we think was said, is confirmed.

There is no more important communication than when we are taking care of our patients. We need to know about them and they need to understand what we are diagnosing and how we will evaluate and treat them. Unless we are on the same page, quality, safety, and the provider-patient relationship will suffer.

In this month’s blog, you will hear (and see) more about our Provider Communication Program. If you are a provider and have not attended this program, we—including your colleagues who have attended—recommend that you sign up.

Thanks for all you do!

Theresa Brennan, MD 

Communication between health care providers and patients is critical to our goal of delivering consistent, high-quality care to every individual

In our personal and professional lives, we have all experienced situations where communication might have been better. Sometimes this resulted in a simple misunderstanding, with no adverse impactOther times the result may have been a significant inconvenience, financial burden, or other unwelcome consequence.

Health care is unique, however, because poor communication can also result in poor-quality of care or poor health outcomes that could be avoided.

The good news is that everyone can improve their communication skills.

UI Hospital & Clinics’ Provider Communication Program is effective at improving provider confidence and skills as they relate to successful communication and building rapport with patients

Don’t just take my word for it though. Learn how one UI Hospital & Clinics’ provider, Kathy Lee-Son, MD, benefitted from the program.

The Provider Communication Program is free and available to all physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Successful completion of the program includes up to 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. 

To maximize the effectiveness of the program and ensure relevance of the content, each workshop is facilitated by practicing UI Health Care physicians and APPs. To help sustain, and reinforce, these critical skills, each attendee is paired with a professional coach rho will meet with them 30 and 60days postworkshop.

The Provider Communication Program workshop is also being offered 100% online through May 2021. After this date a determination to continue virtually or resume in-person sessions will be made (6 workshops are offered each month). Learn more and register for the Provider Communication Program.

Starting with this April Quest issue, the Office of the Patient Experience is excited to highlight a new Provider Communication “Booster Video” each month over the next 12 months, beginning with Skill Set #1: Beginning the Visit in the Adult Inpatient Setting.

If you have not already completed the Provider Communication Program, we sincerely hope you will join us for this rewarding and exciting experience.  

We hope to see you soon.

Alexander Nance, MHA
Director, Office of The Patient Experience

Our Stories: National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Ensuring patient safety is an essential part of providing high-quality health care and is a top priority for UI Health Care. Across the nation, health care systems will celebrate National Patient Safety Awareness Week, an annual health observance, from March 15 to March 19. National Patient Safety Awareness Week serves to increase awareness about patient safety and recognize the fantastic work by all of you and our great organization.

As we approach Patient Safety Awareness Week, please take the opportunity to reflect on the many ways in which we contribute to safe, high-quality patient care. The Quality Improvement Program has planned virtual events throughout the week to acknowledge and celebrate efforts to improve patient safety. I encourage all of you to participate.

I would also ask that you take some time to reflect on the unprecedented challenges that all health care systems have experienced this past year. Pausing to reflect will help you appreciate and be humbled by the power of team, by the power of the collective voice, and by the power of leadership that resides in each and every one of us to rise up and respond to such challenges.

It is by working together that we have and will continue to change health care. Please stay tuned to The Loop for details on UI Health Care National Patient Safety Awareness Week celebrations.

Thank you for all that you do each and every day!

– Theresa Brennan, MD