Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Communication for Doctors; How to Improve Patient Care and Minimise Legal Risks

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Communication for Doctors; How to Improve Patient Care and Minimise Legal Risks

Article excerpt

3. Communication for doctors; how to improve patient care and minimise legal risks Edited by David Woods. Published by Radcliffe Medical Press, Oxford 2004. Paperback 125 pp. Price £21.95 ISBN 1-85775-895-1

Litigation by patients has largely been an occupational hazard of doctors practising in the USA. Traditionally though, whatever happens in America today occurs in Britain tomorrow and in other parts of the world the day after.

And in Britain the trend is increasing. The impact of the emotional stress is devastating for the doctor, innocent or guilty, and finacial loss is hard on the medical defence organisations.

Written by a team of American writers, this book provides practical tips to doctors, about communication skills and correct documentation of the medical consultation in person or by telephone. The improved doctor-patient relationship should reduce errors and litigation.

David Wood suggests seven ways to build trust with patients on their first visit:

* Make appointments. The doctor should also try to keep to time.

* The receptionist should greet the patient warmly and introduce herself/ himself. …

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