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Joint Commission seeks to dispel common myths on patient-provider communication

August 16th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Patient Tools, Quality Care

When faced with a clinician reluctant to fully engage patients in their own health care, arm yourself with information from a new white paper from The Joint Commission (TJC) designed to dispel common myths that can act as barriers to patient health and safety.

In an effort to break down communication barriers between caregivers and their patients and families, TJC has issued “Busting myths about engaging patients and families in patient safety,” written in conjunction with the commission’s Patient and Family Advisory Council.

The 17-page paper, available for download from TJC’s website, is designed to give evidence-backed answers to common arguments and fears from clinicians and others who hesitate to involve patients and families to make medical care safer and more effective.

For instance, the paper outlines instances where providers hesitate to be fully forthcoming with patients and their families with key information they might need to know to keep themselves safer because of concerns over HIPAA or possible litigation. Citing federal and legal resources, the paper explains that providers can often be more open than they think when it comes to patient safety.

Other myths touch on how providers can better engage with patients and families sometimes perceived as uninterested or uniformed, and why that is important.

“In addition to promoting greater patient involvement in their own care, organizations can improve care processes and patient satisfaction by involving former patients, family members and patient advocacy groups in various committees, councils and task forces within the health care system.”

To download the white paper, go to www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/PFAC_patient_family_and_safety_white_paper.pdf. — A.J. Plunkett (aplunkett@decisionhealth.com)