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  F E A T U R E S  
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  Drug Advertising a Springboard for Good Discussions Between Physicians, Patients  
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  Oversight of Drug Advertising Needed to Ensure Balanced, Accurate Messages  
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  FEATURES
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NEW UC DAVIS PROGRAM AIMS TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PATIENTS, DOCTORS

 "" PHOTO — UC Davis' doctoring program exposes students to a mock trial to demonstrate the importance of communication between physician and patient.
 
UC Davis' doctoring program exposes students to a mock trial to demonstrate the importance of communication between physician and patient.
   

The communication shortcomings that arise during a typical office visit often stem from the different intentions that clinicians and patients bring to these encounters.

For example, patients frequently want to tell the "story" of illnesses and are concerned with their personal meanings. on the other hand, often are focused on quickly obtaining histories and deriving the facts.

Bridging this gap, improving the exchange of information and creating an atmosphere in which both health-care providers and patients gain greater satisfaction is the object of a new clinician-patient communication program launched in January at UC Davis Medical Center.

"This program recognizes the significant communication skills our physicians and nurses bring to the bedside and is designed to take them to the next highest level — from great to excellent. It emphasizes that communication is an integral, important part of the care process that cannot be delegated, and that employing new and improved communication skills increases patient and clinician satisfaction," said Alan Brooker, medical director, managed care, at UC Davis.

Through a series of workshops, physicians, nurses and medical students are re-examining the importance of good communication and how it is an essential part of health. The sessions describe extensive research showing that good communication allows for:

  • a more complete picture of a patient's concerns
  • a more accurate diagnosis
  • improved adherence to a regimen
  • increased levels of connection and mutual satisfaction
  • reduced clinician frustration
  • reduced patient anxiety

Conversely, studies have shown that bad communication leads to poor patient care and an increased likelihood of malpractice claims.

The workshops provide participants with practical tips and tools revolving around a set of key communication tasks known as "the four Es:" engage, empathize, educate and enlist. The overall objective of the four Es is to allow clinicians to more easily discuss patients' feelings, values and concerns, going beyond the typical recitation of symptoms.

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  "This program recognizes the significant communication skills our physicians and nurses bring to the bedside and is designed to take them to the next highest level — from great to excellent."  
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UC DAVIS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
PUBLIC AFFAIRS
4900 Broadway, Suite #1200
Sacramento, CA 95820

ucdavismedicine@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

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