communicate communicate communicate



Health Care Takes Teamwork

The importance of honest, open communication cannot be overstated. Strong communication with your health care provider(s) increases your health knowledge, helps ensure adherence to medications and treatments, reduces the chance of medical errors, improves your clinical outcome and boosts your trust and satisfaction levels.

You want a provider who asks the right questions to get to know you, listens carefully and responds with information and guidance tailored to your specific needs. As patients, we need to listen carefully to the information given to us and be ready to follow instructions. Alternatively, we must be prepared to let our provider honestly know why we choose not to follow the prescribed plan. If you are confused or uncertain, it is up to you to speak up and ask questions.

There are many elements involved in achieving patient satisfaction and the delivery of excellent patient care; each of them begins with communication. Some of the important concepts in effective communication include:

  • A consistent, reliable and responsive health care team

  • Trust in the expertise of your health care team

  • Strong two-way communication that includes honesty and openness

  • Communicating the right information, in the right way, at the right time

  • Collaboration and close coordination with the patient, family and with all care providers

  • Compassion and respect including cultural sensitivity


general Issues to Discuss with your medical team


Your goals and priorities

Your preferences for communicating with your physician

Language, cultural, religious, family, financial, work-related issues

Nutrition and vitamin supplements

Fitness and exercise

Eliminating unhealthy habits  (isolation, lack of sleep, smoking, excessive caffeine, drugs, alcohol...)

Screening tests and immunizations

Symptoms: physical, emotional, etc.


Medications and side effects

Self management goals


Advance Directive



ADDITIONAL issues to discuss With a diagnosis


Testing results

Understanding your medical issues

Family support

Treatment alternatives: pros and cons

Treatment plan: clinical and supportive care

Second opinions on diagnosis and treatment plan

Recovery plan and timeframes

Side effects of treatment

Palliative care

Pain management

Integrative therapies

Clinical trials


Help at home

Transitioning back to work