Standards of the Month
February- Body Language
Equally important in the use of AIDET skills are the non-verbal communication attributes that influence patient perception. These include:
- Warm tone of voice and demeanor
- Engaging body language
- Consistent eye contact
- Showing empathy and appropriate use of touch
- Not coming across as rushed: demonstrating a relaxed bedside manor
- Showing appropriate emotions such as enthusiasm, positive attitude, and warmth
March – Ending strong –
Goal: Concluding the patient encounter with a strong ending
Ending strongly significantly influences patient perception of care and creates a lasting positive impression of the encounter. A strong ending will make patients feel that you listened well, answered all their questions, gave them a chance to participate in the decision making process, and will portray you as a more caring, sensitive, and attentive physician. There are a number of key words/phrases that should be imbedded into the closing conversation.
- (Used selectively): If you sense that a patient looks confused, frightened, or anxious based on what you have told them, say: “What are you most worried about?” or, “I can sense that you are concerned or worried. Please tell me more.”
- Summarize the plan of care: “Let me summarize the plan of care so that both of us have a good understanding of what happens next.” Summarize the plan of care by restating the diagnosis, treatment details, and follow-up instructions. After giving the patient your summary, ask: “How does this sound to you? Are you okay with this plan?” This allows the patient an opportunity to feel like they are participating in the decision making process and promotes better buy-in and compliance.
- After you are finished explaining the diagnosis and treatment plan to the patient, say: “I want to make sure that I have thoroughly explained everything well to you. Based on everything I just covered, what questions do you have?” Pause until the patient answers.
- End with a statement that makes the patient feel appreciated and lets them know you enjoyed meeting them. Create a phrase that fits your personality and use it consistently. Examples: “It was a pleasure meeting you today,” “I hope you feel better soon,” “I’m glad you came in to see me today,” “I’m glad I was able to help you today,” or, “I’m glad you are doing better.”
AIDET components used: E, T