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July 5, 1995

Malpractice, Patient Satisfaction, and Physician-Patient Communication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Good Samaritan Hospital Portland, Ore

JAMA. 1995;274(1):23-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530010036020

In Reply.  —Many multispecialty groups such as the Fallon Clinic and large health maintenance organizations throughout the country are conducting programs to improve physicians' communication skills and, in turn, enhance patient satisfaction. These organizations recognize that the competitive health care marketplace demands attention to high-quality care, cost consciousness, and patient satisfaction. How can organizations provide effective communication skills training for a large number of physicians?From my experience as a consultant to a variety of large health care organizations, I believe there are several factors that lead to more successful programs. First, the organization must recognize that it requires a commitment of resources, particularly in physician time, to implement communication skills training. Effective communication training programs probably require at least 8 hours of education, preferably with follow-up sessions to allow physicians to practice new skills. Ongoing education over time is helpful to reinforce new learning. Rigorous evaluation is needed to

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