Research evidence indicates that there is a strong

Research evidence indicates that there is a strong, positive correlation between healthcare professional’s communication skills, and a patient’s capacity to follow medical recommendations; including self-management of their condition and adopting preventative health behaviours (such as beginning a healthier diet or stopping smoking). Studies have shown that a professional’s ability to explain, listen and empathize with a service user has a profound effect on their treatments outcome, as well as improving their satisfaction with the care they have received. Furthermore, communication among healthcare professionals influences the quality of their working relationships, job satisfaction and greatly impacts the patient’s safety.
Professionals in the healthcare sector interact with thousands of patients during their career. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Health Professions and Training (2) highlights the importance of communication training for professionals. Communication skills can always be learned and improved upon, however improvement requires commitment and practice.
There is a clear link between ineffective clinician-patient communication with increased risk of malpractice, dissatisfaction for both the professional and service user, and risk of danger to the patient. Therefore, it is evident that addressing the need for improvement of communication skills is of the utmost importance. (3)