This paper will address the seven principles of patient-clinician communication, as well as the definitions of each of these principles. It will also explain the application of three of these principles within the interactions with my own patients. Furthermore, this paper will describe the three methods being used to improve interdisciplinary communication, and discuss the one that best applies to my area of practice. Ethical principles that are applicable to patient-clinician communication will be discussed, as will the importance of patient safety and how communication attributes to this.
Seven Principles of Patient-Clinician Communication
Patient-Clinician communication is utterly important in that it could essentially save a life or lose a life. The seven principles are mutual respect, harmonized goals, a supportive environment, appropriate decision partners, the right information, transparency, and continuous learning. What is meant by mutual respect is that the patient and the clinician have to respect one another in that both are full decision making partners. The decision making of one’s health is not to be taken lightly, and as such, both the patient and the clinician have to be on the same page and respectful of the ideas and insights of one another (Elwyn, et.al. 2014). A care plan must be mutually agreed upon in order to accomplish harmonized goals. If the patient and clinician are not on the same page, very little can be accomplished. For communication to be effective, the patient and clinician must be in a supportive environment with the appropriate decision partners to make crucial decisions. Furthermore, the right information must be readily available and communicable. The patient and the clinician need full disclosure and transparency to see the whole picture and continuously learn new ways of communicating and helping. Feedback assists in continuous learning.Self Implementation
In my own practice, I strive to implement all of these principles. Three in particular are transparency, mutual respect, and harmonized goals. I believe that to earn respect, you must give respect. I respect all patients regardless of their background or demographics. In order to accomplish anything productive and to the best possible income, respect must be given and received in the patient-clinician relationship (Arnold & Boggs, 2015). When the respect is mutual, ethical issues are less likely to arise as well and there is increased transparency from the patient. I believe in full disclosure and transparency and ensure I practice this whenever I communicate with patients. Nothing will be accomplished without harmonized goals. I want to ensure I have done everything in my power to assist my patients in making the best decisions and accomplishing the best outcomes. With this being said, if the patient does not want the best outcome, they will not follow any advice I give to them. Harmonized goals are of utmost importance, which is why I implement this to the best of my ability.
Three Methods for Improving Interdisciplinary Communication
Three methods being used to improve interdisciplinary communication are the SBAR (Situational Briefing Guide), team huddles, and multidisciplinary rounds using daily goal sheets (Dingley, Daugherty, Derig, & Persing, 2013). SBAR is a standard format in communicating with states the situation, background, assessment, and recommendation. Team huddles allow members of the team to communicate before seeing any patients. Multidisciplinary rounds with goal sheets allow all members to center their goals around the patient on a broader perspective than their respective disciplines. The method that best applies to my area is the team huddle so that everyone can meet regularly and ensure we are all on the same page. This reduces conflict and misinformation greatly.
Some ethical principles that apply to issues in patient-clinician communication are to be open and honest, to not deceive, all parties should have a say in how to move forward with care, resource allocations should be transparent all jointly decided upon, records must be thorough and accurate, a clinician must primarily be devoted to promoting the interest of the patient, and clinicians should advocate for their patients (Cooper, 2014). Ethics in communication is extremely important in the care of a patient. It could ultimately mean life or death. If a treatment option is not fully and openly communicated to a patient, he or she may choose it unknowing of the adverse reactions or possible complications. Furthermore, if a patient does not know the cost of a treatment, they may lose all the money they have to support their family in choosing a treatment that is not necessary for their health. Communication is extremely important in dealing with an individual’s health and welfare.
The seven principles of patient-clinician communication are mutual respect, harmonized goals, a supportive environment, appropriate decision partners, the right information, transparency, and continuous learning. Three principles in particular that I make a proactive effort in practicing are transparency, mutual respect, and harmonized goals. Three methods being used to improve interdisciplinary communication are the SBAR (Situational Briefing Guide), team huddles, and multidisciplinary rounds using daily goal sheets (Dingley, Daugherty, Derig, & Persing, 2013). Some ethical principles that apply to patient-clinician communication are honesty, transparency, and inclusiveness. Communication is critical in patient-clinician relationships.