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The Power in Relationships: Reflections on The New Agenda Program

March 23rd, 2017 / Meaghan Copeland

Back in December I wrote a piece about our New Agenda program: the benefits of practicing the Four Habits model and my positive experience as a patient with doctors who exhibit the use of some of the skills that comprise the Habits.

Last week we published a report on the program learnings and qualitative and quantitative results of our evaluation of the program, where clinicians worked to improve their communication skills and go deeper into the relationships they have with their patients. The clinicians in our program did this by using the Four Habits model, which was co-developed by Dr. Richard M. Frankel. The Model is composed of 23 skills that make up four sequential habits:

1. Investing in the Beginning

2. Eliciting the Patient’s Perspective

3. Demonstrating Empathy

4. Investing in the End

You can read our report here.

I’m proud of the work that our team at CCI, our coaches, and expert did to put this program together to test the use of the Four Habits Model in the primary care safety net setting. I’m especially proud of all the clinicians and their teams that put in the time and effort to incorporate these new skills and Habits into their practice. The process wasn’t always easy – forming new habits rarely are. It takes many tests, some losses, frustration, doubt and pressure. But it also brings wins (big and small), joy, satisfaction, and resolve. My hope is that our success convinces our program clinicians to keep going, and new clinicians to try some of this with their own patients. There is immense power in the relationships that we build and the community-building that these skills contribute to.