Communication between staff members in a healthcare facility is crucial to its overall success and ability to provide excellent patient care. One communication framework that works wonderfully in facilities is AIDET, which was developed by Studer Group to help with effective patient communication. AIDET can be used by all staff members of your facility, including nurses, physicians, food service, and administrators.
AIDET stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You. By making AIDET a core component of your facility’s culture and interactions, you can help decrease patient anxiety, improve patient care, and even boost your HCAHPS Survey scores.
Here is how to effectively implement AIDET in the culture of your facility and all staff members:
Be sure to smile and greet the patient by name. It’s crucial to always look at the patient in the eyes when you are speaking to them and make it a point to talk to and acknowledge family members of friends who are also in the room.
When you first meet a patient or a new family member/friend in the room, it is kind and courteous to introduce yourself with your:
- Skill set
- Professional certifications
By introducing yourself in this way, you help create trust with your patient, and also help lesson their anxiety about putting their care in the hands of a new person they do not know. Many patients have some form of hesitation when meeting a new physician, nurse, or other medical professional, and being open and honest about who you are helps them feel more secure.
Be very transparent when it comes to giving patients a time period for when they can hear about test results, next steps, and other important information about their time at the healthcare facility. If you are not completely sure of a timeline for a patient, be sure to let them know about when they can expect for you to find out more information. Never leave patients with unanswered questions, which can lead to anxiety and distrust.
In order to help soothe patient fears and anxiety, be sure to properly explain procedures, expectations, and results. This helps patients understand their next steps and what they can expect in the future. It is also important to be sure to explain how a patient can contact you or get assistance quickly in the event that they need it.
Always thank the patient and family. This is is a great communication practice and is a display of not only kindness but professionalism. Thank your patient and their family for choosing your healthcare facility and also be sure to thank them for their communication, support, and understanding during the patient’s stay.
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