Better Together! Collaborative conversations with colleagues and patients
"Healthcare is innately relational including the interactions with patients, family, other health and social professionals as well as the broader community."
~ Langlois et al, 2020
Optimize relationships with patients
Enable positive communication
- Build the foundation
Select your tools
- Have clear policies and procedures for your practice that address code of conduct, and commonly occurring requests and situations
- Ensure patients are aware of these policies and procedures
- Apply these policies consistently and transparently
React when necessary – know when your and your staff’s safety is threatened and call for help. Ensure you have a safety plan in place.
Have you objectively and factually documented:
- FIFE: Feelings – Ideas – Function – Expectations
- HEART: Hear the patient – Empathize – Apologize – Respond – Thank the patient
- APE: Acknowledge, Agree, Apologize – Pause, Paraphrase – Empathy, Explore
- That you have reviewed your practice’s code of conduct, policies, and procedures with patients?
- Conversations you have had about specific patient behaviours and consequences?
- Your and your staff’s efforts to defuse conflicts and de-escalate situations?
Impacts of effective communication on physician-patient relationship
- Provision of safer care
- Enhanced focus and engagement with patients
- Appropriate use of testing, treatment, and consultation
- Enhanced desire to advocate for patients
- Positive impact on patient mood
- Increased likelihood of patients adhering to healthcare plans
Optimize relationships with team members
Psychological safety: A psychologically safe environment is one where people listen to one another, and feel safe to speak up, without being afraid of being embarrassed or punished.2
In the healthcare system, high psychological safety has been linked to:
- The generation of novel ideas and solutions
- Knowledge sharing
- Increased technical team performance
- Improved quality of care
- Care that is more patient centred
4 Stages of psychological safety, with strategies corresponding to each level
Learning people’s names, facing people when speaking, asking more than we talk, frequent touchpoints to build connections
Sharing what we learn with our team, celebrating failures
Recognizing accomplishments and small wins, giving “stretch” assignments
Assigning dissent, rewarding shots on goal and creativity
Learn more about other strategies to foster a psychologically safe environment at The 4 Stages Behavioral Guide (leaderfactor.com).
Optimizing relationships with patients
Optimizing collaborative care in challenging times
- 1. Isbell LM, Tager J, Beals K, Liu G. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29(10):803-814
Scheepers RA, Boerebach BCM, Arah OA, et al. Int J Behav Med. 2015;22(6):683-698
- 2. Grailey KE, Murray E, Reader T, Brett SJ. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):773