Communicate with Patients

This module provides resources that will help your practice learn to communicate with patients more effectively. Achieving good health depends on actively engaged patients, families, and caregivers. This collaboration between the practice team, the patient, and his or her support network is vital to better understanding the patient's plan of care.  Good communication is the cornerstone of a collaborative approach to care and includes verbal, written, pictorial, and electronic information presented to the patient in a way that she or he can understand.

Why is this important?

Health care is provided in an increasingly complex system. For even the most capable individual, navigating this system can be extremely frustrating and sometimes nearly impossible. Imagine what it is like for young parents, the elderly, hearing/sight-impaired patients, or others with limited physical or mental capabilities. Practices need to overcome a variety of barriers otherwise, their efforts to help patients will result in less than optimal outcomes.  Common challenges include engaging patients in care plans, helping them understand the need for follow-up appointments, referrals, diagnostic tests, and procedures – and most of all, avoiding errors in medication usage.

How will these tools help?

The resources in this module cover the following areas:

  • How the practice communicates with its patients: Education and information should be available regardless of language, culture, ethnicity, or physical impairment. This module also includes a section on how to use a patient portal to provide patients with electronic access to the practice as well as medical information related to their care.
  • What the practice communicates with its patients: Communication resources based on broad topic areas such as nutrition, patient safety, and how patients can engage in their own care.
  • Why the practice should provide certain information: Patient satisfaction surveys can provide the practice with feedback on how they are doing from a communication standpoint.


Target Audience

Target Audience

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Medical Assistants
  • Practice Managers

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Overcome cultural differences, language barriers, and low health literacy to effectively assist your patients
  • Help patients understand the need for follow-up appointments, referrals, diagnostic tests, and procedures
  • Provide your patients with educational tools for use outside of the office
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Parent activity set: 

Jillian Schneider, MHA

Manager, Department of Medical Practice

American College of Physicians

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Attendance


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