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Overview


Sharing information is a "two-way street." Physicians communicate with many people for many reasons. Patients, their families, and other members of the treatment team need information and have information to share. Communicating doesn't just mean transferring information and knowledge; it also means fostering understanding.

From the beginning of medical training, physicians are taught to communicate in a manner that is appropriate to the culture and education level of the patient. It is equally important to communicate effectively with colleagues and other healthcare providers.

Objectives


After completing this domain you will be able to:
  • Describe patient-centred communications.
  • Explain the importance of privacy and confidentiality.
  • List the components of informed discharge.
  • Identify the characteristics of effective team communication.
  • Discuss the importance of handovers and barriers to effective handovers.
  • Explain 3 characteristics of an ideal consultation report.
  • State 3 ways in which documentation promotes safe care and reduces medical-legal risk.

Topics and case studies

Patient-centred communication

Patient-centred communication

Fostering understanding
Privacy and confidentiality

Privacy and confidentiality

Protecting patient information
Informed consent

Informed consent

More than a signature
Informed discharge

Informed discharge

Alerting patients to warning symptoms and signs
Handovers

Handovers

Transferring care to others
Consultations and referrals

Consultations and referrals

Improving the referral-consultation process
Documentation

Documentation

Document, document, document!
Quick answers

Quick answers

Questions from our physician members
Test yourself

Test yourself

Check your knowledge