With patient satisfaction increasingly being tied to reimbursement and physician compensation, the days of considering communication a “soft skill” for doctors are long gone. As a result, organizations such as the Cleveland Clinic have begun enrolling their doctors in specialized communications courses, while medical schools are targeting the issue even earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Satisfaction scores aside, the article cited additional compelling reasons to prioritize communication improvement:
Breakdowns in physician-patient communication are cited in at least 40 percent of malpractice suits.
There is a 19 percent higher risk of nonadherence among patients whose doctors communicate poorly than among those whose doctors communicate well, according to a 2009 review published in the journal Medical Care.
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