The Solution

Why Focus on Communication?

The quality of doctor-patient communication has a far-reaching impact on outcomes, public perception, reputation, pay, job satisfaction and much more. To thrive in the face of today’s challenges, excellent physician communication with patients and families is pivotal.

Substantial evidence demonstrates that effective patient-centered communication:

  • Is essential for patient-centered care
  • Is a main element of high-quality care (Crossing the Quality Chasm, Institute of Medicine, 2001)
  • Is strongly correlated with patients’ satisfaction and overall assessments of their healthcare experiences
  • Creates loyalty and increases the likelihood that patients will return to the physician or organization for future care
  • Strengthens understanding and trust
  • Increases adherence to the recommended treatment plan and self-management of chronic disease
  • Contributes to healing, emotionally supportive relationships
  • Enables patient activation and informed choice-making
  • Reduces the risk of malpractice suits – physicians in the lowest third on communications rating have 110% more lawsuits than those in the top third
  • Reduces physician stress and leads to greater joy and fulfillment in the practice of medicine
About This Program

Advanced Communication for Physicians is a fully accredited CME program through the St. Louis University School of Medicine. You can complete it online at your convenience. The eight modules are designed to help physicians achieve advanced skills in communication that will enhance patient and family-centered care, improve team collaboration, and strengthen physicians’ joy and gratification at work.

Click here to view the program validation and disclosure statements.

Guiding Principles

The program is built on four guiding principles that drive practice improvement, patient outcomes and physician satisfaction.

  1. Improve communication and you will achieve breakthroughs.
  2. Communication of caring – communication that is empathic, compassionate, and heartwarming – is especially important.
  3. The skills for communicating caring are neither soft, nor elusive.
  4. Advanced communication skills can help physicians better manage relationships not only with patients and families, but also with colleagues and everyone on the care team.
Learning Modules

Advanced Communication for Physicians is organized into eight online learning modules. The first is an overview and introduction. The remaining seven explore and illustrate best practices related to seven advanced communication competencies.

The eight modules are:

  1. The Communication Solution
  2. Mindful Practice
  3. Collaboration and Teamwork
  4. Effective Openings and Closings
  5. Engaging Patients and Families as Partners
  6. Communicating with Empathy
  7. Effective Explanations
  8. Hard Conversations

Each module takes 30 minutes to complete and includes:

  • A short video that defines and illustrates the skill in everyday scenarios
  • Do-it-yourself exercises that prompt reflection and goal-setting
  • A short quiz to confirm successful completion
  • Printable on demand tools to help you apply the skills in your practice, including:
    • Skill Reference Card
    • Self-Check
    • Peer Feedback Tool
    • Reference List

Click here for a description of the objectives and highlights of the eight modules.

Click here for a preview of the client portal and tools.

Who Should Take This Course?

Advanced Communication for Physicians is an excellent CME choice for:

  • Physicians in primary care and all specialties with patient contact
  • Advanced Practice Clinicians, including Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, CNM, CNS and CRNAs
  • Medical students and fellows
  • Residents – note that this program fulfills the ACGME requirement for annual training in the Interpersonal and Communication Core Competency

Physicians at every level of experience can benefit:

  • New physicians can practice and master state-of-the-art communication skills from the start of their careers
  • Seasoned physicians can become more effective and deliberate in their communications
  • Expert physicians can become inspiring role models, coaches and mentors with their colleagues
To start this program today, click here.

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