Effective Communication: Often Overlooked, Misunderstood

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Effective Communication: Often Overlooked, Misunderstood

Many people consider themselves to be good communicators, but do not truly understand the skills required to be effective communicators.  Think back on your experience with high school or college instructors.  How many of them would simply spew information in a staccato-like manner, considering that to be the best way to impart knowledge on their students?  Or did they engage their audience by encouraging interactive discussions?  Which method did you feel gave you the best learning experience?


Hospital and medical settings demand the same effective communication techniques that are required in professional, business and educational settings.   The patient encounter is the critical time for discerning an individual’s concern and diagnosis.  It requires complete and open input from the patient so ultimately an accurate diagnosis can be made.


How is this accomplished?  A physician must be a fact finder who maintains an open mind during the patient encounter.  This can be accomplished by employing communication techniques that encourage true dialog instead of a one-way relationship that may miss important facts.  By establishing effective communication techniques, we can avoid a missed diagnosis with potentially dire consequences.


Dr. Doug Finefrock is a leading national specialist in improving the Patient Experience and HCAHPS scores.  His Patient SET™ Program "Satisfaction Every Time" with The Sullivan Group includes physician CME and nursing CE online video courses that provide scalable communication training for healthcare workers.