Evidence-based skills & standards

Hospital HCAHPS TrainingVOICE Clinics really help staff work more effectively.  The workshops have made everyone aware, and they are vocal when others don’t use VOICE skills.
—Practice Manager

An extensive review of 20 years of research on healthcare communication supports the need and direction for interpersonal communications improvements in healthcare.

The centrality of VOICE Skills in healthcare

The research shows that healthcare communication is the:medical customer service training

  • #1 predictor of overall HCAHPS scores
  • #1 cause of preventable medical errors
  • #1 factor in $1 billion annual cost of non-compliance
  • #1 reason 50% of prescriptions are taken incorrectly
  • #1 preventer of malpractice litigation
  • #1 reason patients choose or leave a healthcare provider
  • #1 cause of preventable healthcare costs

CLICK HERE for copy of Healthcare Communication Research report

Deficiencies in healthcare communication

Interviews, focus groups, and personal experience indicate that healthcare has its communication problems. But published research reveals a deeper systemic crisis in healthcare:

  • 81% of healthcare professionals (HPs) didn’t listen or interruptedImproving Patient Satisfaction in the Emergency Department
  • Only 11% of patients say they reported their entire agenda
  • 76% of patients say they don’t ask questions out of fear
  • HPs explain for one minute; and overestimate it by nine times
  • 75% of HPs don’t ask for patients’ views or check their acceptance
  • Only 10% of patients are able to make an informed medical decision
  • 6% of patients are asked for their ideas & beliefs
  • 40% of staff keep quiet due to intimidating behavior by a co-worker

Whatever the cause of these pervasive and debilitating communication break-drowns, hospitals need to address them not just for the sake of patient satisfaction, but for the quality of patient outcomes and the promise of medicine.

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Research-based VOICE Skills

In addition to addressing theses deficiencies, VOICE Clinics embed many research-tested skills including:

TeachBacks. Guidelines from National Quality Forum include the efficacy of asking others to repeat back instructions to improve memory and adherence to reduce readmissions.

BlameFree Apology. Formal training in apologies has been shown to reduce hospital legal costs by 40% or more at University of Michigan and other medical centers

SpeakUp. Published research on the use of assertiveness training in the airline industry has shown significant reduction in major airline “near misses” and accidents.

Motivational Clarifying. Over 80 published research articles indicate the most effective interpersonal skills for changing long-term health behaviors.

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