Individualized coaching in health system-wide provider communication training

Article: Individualized coaching in health system-wide provider communication training

Authors: Kipton Pedersen, Theresa M H Brennan, Alexander D Nance, Marcy E Rosenbaum

Journal: Patient Educ Couns. 2021 Jun 30;S0738-3991(21)00422-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2021.06.023. Online ahead of print.

Objectives: Most practicing health professionals lack communication skills training (CST). Increasingly health care systems have implemented CST programs, mainly through single workshops which are limited in creating meaningful change in communication behaviors in practice. This paper describes a provider CST program which includes coaching to reinforce skills learned in CST workshops.

Method: In 2017, a pilot CST workshop was implemented in a large Midwestern US health system. In 2018, a modified program was launched for all physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses and included in-person clinical coaching for each provider 30- and 60-days post-workshop. Evaluation measures included pre and post-program aggregate patient satisfaction scores and coaching evaluation surveys.

Results: 248 providers completed the workshop plus coaching program between October 2018 – March 2020. Aggregated patient satisfaction Top Box ratings increased from 73.9% to 75.1% following the pilot and to 79.5% following workshop plus coaching. Participants rated coaching positively and reported more confidence in using the workshop skills in clinical practice.

Conclusion: Our data show that coaching can help facilitate and reinforce skills learned in CST workshops and can lead to improvements in patient satisfaction scores.

Practical implications: Incorporating coaching as part of CST can help facilitate meaningful skills transfer.

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