Patient Experience newsletter: Provider Communication Program

Monthly updates from the Office of the Patient Experience

Providers: Sign up for new communications workshop and program

Excellent communication with our patients and families is the foundation for safe and effective health care. Without effective communication, a message can turn into error, misunderstanding, frustration, or even disaster.

This fall and winter, we are offering the opportunity for physicians, APPs, PAs, and ARNPs to participate in our Provider Communication Program. The program consists of:

  • One 6-hour provider communications workshop, delivered by our own UI Health Care expertly-trained providers who will facilitate and guide these interactive, small group sessions. Participants will receive up to 7.5 CEUs.
  • To continue to refine skills, all participants will work one-one-one with a coach at 30 days post-workshop and again at 60 days post-workshop. The coach will be from the Office of the Patient Experience and will observe each participant’s patient encounters and then offer individualized coaching to refine their skills.

This program is designed to give you techniques to build stronger relationships with your patients without adding time to the patient encounter—for example, tips on setting an agenda, listening reflectively, and sharing information incrementally. You’ll be better equipped to manage visits more efficiently, while conveying empathy and making important connections.

Some feedback from our pilot sessions last summer:

  • “Before this training I thought this was going to be a painful and artificial prison of a session with very little useful information, scattered amongst hours of ‘instruction.’ After this training now I know that physician communication skills can be effectively taught in a small group setting that is engaging and meaningful.”
  • “Really enjoyed the day. Great tips on improving my communication with patients—especially hard to satisfy patients.”

Register: Sign up in MyTraining. The first session is offered on Thursday, Nov. 29, with more dates to choose from.

Spiritual Care Week

The Spiritual Services Department will be celebrating Oct. 21 to 27. Look for their displays in the Colloton Pavilion Lobby (Elevator F, Level 1) and in UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

At their display tables, they will offer a “Blessing of Hands” for UI Hospitals & Clinics staff to honor their daily work. Take time to thank a chaplain for their spiritual support to our staff, patients, and families.

Health Literacy and National Medical Librarians Month

October is also Health Literacy and National Medical Librarians Month. So, the patient education specialists and hospital librarians have increased access to current, evidence-based health information at a time and place that is convenient for patients and families. Doing this can lead to improved outcomes, decreased readmissions, decreased phone calls, reduced cancellation rates, reduced procedure times, and increased satisfaction.

They have made available:

  • The Library Materials Guide: recently updated and available in English and Spanish
  • The Library Health Information Request Form: recently updated and will soon be available in both English and Spanish
  • Patients and families can view educational videos to learn more about their health conditions and treatment options at any time on the Patients’ Library website and on the Janice and Bruce Ellig Children’s Library website.

Recent patient comments

In honor of the awareness months listed above, we’ve pulled patient survey comments about Spiritual Services and health literacy.


  • “The priest chaplain came in with communion, a very welcome sight. His visit lifted my spirits.”
  • “I really appreciated that ______ the chaplain came to see me and my wife and pray with us prior to each surgery. Very comforting personality!”
  • “Chaplain laid quilt on my husband. So comforting. Took it home. Provided snacks for family.”
  • ­­­­­­­­­­­­­”Dr. ______ explained things in a way that I could understand and was very thorough in his explanations.”
  • “Nurses were very attentive, courteous, and kind to myself as well as my family. They were very good about explaining what was going on in plain language.”
  • “The nurse and doctors took the time to explain my discharge instructions, and I was not rushed during the discharge process.”

 Missed the mark

  • “We requested NOT to be visited by the chaplain but she came anyway. This has happened before too.”
  • “I would have preferred a visit from the chaplain.”
  • “Anesthesiologist interrupted pastor visit. Barged in and not courteous to her or our prayer.”
  • “Every doctor had different explanations—they had no clue.”
  • “Explanations were less than desired on weekend.”
  • “Tech used medical terms to ask questions and Mom had to rephrase to have patient understand as tech kept saying med terms when patient didn’t understand.”