Summary

The goal of this project was to change physician behaviour over the long term in order to facilitate two outcomes: improved patient satisfaction with the clinical encounter, and increased efficiency and effectiveness from the physician’s perspective. 80% of patient complaints against physicians can be attributed to a breakdown in effective communications. This project introduced a program to teach medical students and physicians the importance of communication and trust in the patient-doctor relationship. The researchers found that the communication skills of medical students at UBC deteriorated as their medical education progressed. In order to improve the relationship between doctors and patients, the ISDM project recognized the need to show that better communication resulted in improved health outcomes and less wasted time, as patients were more likely to understand and follow their health regimes more closely.