Exceptional communication is essential when providing care to patients in the ED. This is especially true given that we don’t have a preexisting relationship with our patients. They have never seen us before, have little or no information about us, and didn’t choose us. They are typically anxious, uncomfortable, and would probably rather be somewhere else. Exceptional communication allows patients to gain trust in us, in our skills, and in our recommendations. Strong communication skills not only allow physician and non-physician staff to gather relevant information and share important findings, but also help improve healthcare outcomes, reduce misunderstandings, and minimize litigation. Below are 10 pearls, divided into 4 habits, to help you get the most out of the clinical encounter and improve your patient’s care experience.
Patient handoff at sign-out rounds is a high-risk period for clinical oversights and errors. The key to minimize this is to have a clear strategy. This means being precise yet concise, methodical, and forward-thinking in your presentation to the oncoming clinician and team. There are various tools like I-PASS1 to frame your script, but the following are 10 additional key tips to consider.