Effective communication between a hospitalist and his or her patients is essential. In the United States, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties have recognized interpersonal and communication skills as 1 of the 6 general competencies for physicians. Previous research in the outpatient setting documented that patient satisfaction is highly correlated with communication patterns of physicians and duration of contact. We examined whether the length of time hospitalists spent with patients correlated with patient perception of communication.
We combined results of a time–work flow analysis of hospitalists with results from patient surveys of hospitalist communication skills. We evaluated 20 hospitalists who were each observed for 2 complete 12‐hour shifts (7
The amount of time individual hospitalists spent communicating with patients and their CAT were not correlated (Pearson's r = 0.120, P = 0.613). The average time hospitalists spent on direct in‐person communication with each patient was 9.8 minutes, with a range of 5.8–15.9 minutes. The average CAT score was 68.2%, with a range of 48%–84.4%.
Our findings suggest that in an inpatient setting, the quality of the communication taking place outweighs the quantity of communication. Efforts at improving communication may be successful by developing training focused on improving the quality of communication instead of simply providing more time through reduced patient workload. Additional research might examine the context of communication that a patient describes as “excellent.”
V. Forth, none; D. Ferranti, none; D. Malkenson, none; M. Tipping, none; D. Magill, none; M. Williams, Society of Hospital Medicine, Editor.
To cite this abstract:Forth V, Ferranti D, Mal‐kenson D, Tipping M, Magill D, Williams M. Patient Communication: Quality or Quantity?. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2009, May 14-17, Chicago, Ill. Abstract 37. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2009; 4 (suppl 1). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/patient-communication-quality-or-quantity/. Accessed September 18, 2019.