The impact of listening
As a provider, every patient encounter is an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can listen and understand their needs and concerns. Likewise, to ensure your patients can implement your plan of care, you want to be sure that your patients are truly listening and understanding the advice you are giving.
Strategies to improve your communication to patients
One way to figure out if your communication with a patient is effective is by asking them to repeat back the plan of care you discuss with them. You will be able to identify gaps in their understanding and clarify by asking a patient to repeat the next steps back to you.
If you have just shared information with your patient, ask them to repeat back what you told them. For example, you could say, “I just shared a lot of information with you about the new medication I think you should try. Can you please repeat it back to me so we can make sure you remember all of the important points?”.
How does your patient know you are listening to them?
To make sure your patient knows you are listening, repeat back to them what you have heard. A quick summary helps assure you heard correctly. For example, you might say, “I want to make sure that I understand all of the important information you just shared. Let me repeat back what I heard so you can verify I didn’t miss anything.” This will help your patients know you are understanding their needs.
April 2022 Anthem Blue Cross Provider News - California