Communications Training for Physicians: Worth the Time and Effort?

By: Guest Author | Posted on: Apr 27, 2017

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The largest study to date evaluating communications skills training for physicians, researchers demonstrated that a well-designed program can have significant positive impact on both physicians and patients.

The observational study, comparing 1,537 attending physicians who participated in communications skills training with 1,951 physicians who did not, showed statistically significant improvements in empathy and burnout among physicians who completed the program. The study also showed improved patient satisfaction scores, assessed through inpatient and outpatient satisfaction surveys. Ratings for physician communication, particularly in respect, clear information, and know medical history showed significant improvement.

Neurologist Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA, Chief Experience Officer, along with colleagues in the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication published the research in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The course is a mandatory eight-hour program for all Cleveland Clinic physicians.

“By conducting this research, we hoped to provide evidence to back up this important program and be able to tell a story that would grab people’s hearts and minds,” says Dr. Boissy. “We hope our evidence proves helpful to other organizations, both large and small.”

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