Staff & Provider Engagement

Engaging Physicians in a Communication Skills Training Program

Katie Neuendorf, MD Palliative Medicine Physician and Director of the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication

In 2011, Cleveland Clinic leadership recognized that its physicians would soon be held accountable for their communication with patients. Leadership also recognized that many practicing physicians had never been taught evidenced based, effective communication techniques. Therefore, physicians were given the tools they needed to succeed in communication through the creation of a relationship-centered communication skills training program. Physicians were highly satisfied with the program, stating that it was a valuable use of their time, relevant to their practice, feasible to implement and that it changed their attitude towards communication skills. In this webinar, you will hear about the strategic messaging used in this program, techniques that were used to engage physicians in practicing new communication skills, what sustainment efforts are currently taking place as well as the link between the relationship-centered communication program to physician empathy and burnout. In addition, you will hear about pitfalls encountered along the way.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss strategies used by one large, academic institution to engage physicians in a relationship-centered communication skills training program
  • Recognize potential pitfalls when introducing communication skills training to physicians
  • Examine data that links relationship-centered communication to physician levels of empathy and burnout

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