Study reveals proven ways to improve doctor-patient communication



Los Angeles, CA (February 23, 2017) A hospital-wide communication training program, outlining best practices for doctors to follow in interactions with patients, improved patients' perception of doctor communication by 9 percent, according to new research. Out today in the American Journal of Medical Quality (SAGE Publishing journal), the study details the largest known experiment of its kind and describes training that can easily be implemented at other hospitals and institutions.

In the study, doctors at a major academic medical center created and reviewed standardized communication practices that were aimed at improving communication with their patients. Each month, the doctors reviewed patients' perception of doctor communication as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Examining survey responses from 7,043 patients over one year, study authors Horton et al. found that the percentage of patients who 'always' felt that the doctors carefully listened to them, treated them with respect and courtesy, and explained things in a way they could understand improved by 9 percent.

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