Communicating With Doctors and Nurses While in the Hospital: A Tool for Patients and Family Caregivers to Improve Patient Safety

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Prepared by the IPRO HQIC Patient Safety Committee

Two-way communication between clinicians and patients plays a critical role in delivering high-quality care and ensuring a positive experience. Developed by the IPRO HQIC Patient Safety Committee*, the goal of this tool is to help patients and their care partners clearly communicate with their healthcare team. Patients can use this tool to plan for and document conversations with a doctor or nurse. The tool has three sections: (1) a set of communication tips for patients; (2) a guide to help patients plan for conversations with their healthcare team; and (3) suggestions for how patients can use their notes from conversations with their health care team. Clinicians can also use this tool to invite and encourage patients to communicate clearly with their healthcare team so that they are partners in their care.

*The IPRO HQIC Patient Safety Committee is composed of patients, family caregivers, and quality improvement specialists from states participating in the IPRO HQIC.