A concept based on the positive results of previous studies of introducing continuous
communication training, access to audio recordings of consultations and preparation of patients to consultations. Used in combination, and by establishing an interactive informative feedback system between these activities, the concept is intended to optimize communication between patient, relatives and healthcare staff. Just as it is expected to provide better treatment, greater security and greater coherence in patient progress.
The interest in creating good patient care in the challenged Danish Health Service is more than ever present on the health policy agenda. The pressure we experience in these years within the health sector is a consequence of the increased number of multidisciplinary patients, new treatment measures, improved screening methods and an increased expectation in the healthcare system's abilities. This development is expected to escalate in the years to come. Accordingly, there is a great need for smart solutions which can help both staff, patients, and relatives to prepare for the clinical conversations which play a crucial role in a successful treatment process.
When human resources are scarce, communication and relations are under pressure resulting in unfortunate consequences for the patient's treatment and benefit. The fact that communication is often insufficient is reflected in the survey 'The Healthcare System according to the Danes'. The survey shows that a large proportion of respondents have limited confidence that the doctor will address their disease and its consequences in an understandable way. Another study from 2016 shows that patients in general desire better communication and request the staff to be better at listening and seeing the patient as an entire human being.
Since 2007, the Health Services Research Unit at Lillebaelt Hospital has been working systematically with research, development, and implementation of interventions aimed at optimizing patient-centered communication. This work includes communication training of the hospital staff, opportunities for patients to record and listen to their outpatient consultations, and developing issues that patients can prepare before their conversation with health professionals. In addition, we have had a special focus on the existing system for registering communication-related complaints, and in a recent research project, it was possible to demonstrate that 57% of patient complaints derived from different aspects of communication.
The results of the research mentioned are now combined in a coherent concept where we are going to equip patients and staff with communication tools that can optimize communication. This is done by developing and testing the concept Feedback Informed Person-centered Communication (FIPeC), inspired by the evidence-based feedback and evaluation tool, 'Feedback Informed Treatment', developed specifically for professional therapists.
FIPeC is based on the positive results from our previous studies and used in combination, Phase 1 of the FiPeC project is to develop and investigate an interactive informative feedback system that provides the health professionals with directly anonymized feedback on their communication with their own patients and at the same time allowing patients to access material that can prepare them for the conversation and for the sound recordings of the conversations.
If the concept proves to be able to optimize communication and be beneficial for both patients and health professionals, we will expand FIPeC with additional communication training modules in Phase 2. It will be based on the results of the patient study in Phase 1, as well as a further development of the communication course that has been tested and implemented in all clinical departments at the Lillebaelt Hospital. This will establish a Blended Learning course, which is integrated into the E-platform already used in FIPeC, Phase 1.
In the long term, it will therefore be possible to use anonymized feedback on conversations and sound recordings in connection with continuous competence development of healthcare communication (Appendix 1: Illustration of FIPeC). The concept's innovative feedback section where the patients' experience and feedback are applied directly to the staff's communication training and binds the various individual parts together, is never before tested.