At the heart of the patient experience is good provider communication. From patient satisfaction to physician happiness—as well as actual health outcomes—how clinicians communicate with patients in the exam room can impact every critical aspect of our healthcare system.

patient clinician

In 2016 CCI, in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, organized a patient engagement initiative focused on giving providers training and strategies — from agenda setting to a unique take on empathy — to make exam room interactions more effective and productive. Using a model developed by Dr. Richard Frankel, an internationally recognized expert on clinician-patient communication, this program builds on our communication training programs by going deeper into the relationships patients have with their clinical care providers.

Click here to read the New Agenda Results Report

The program curriculum was based on Kaiser Permanente’s Four Habits model, co-authored by Dr. Frankel, which emphasizes “actions in encounters” such as making a strong personal connection at the beginning of a patient visit, eliciting the patient’s top concerns through agenda setting, demonstrating empathy during a brief encounter, patient education and motivation, and summarizing the visit. The curriculum is supplemented with techniques that allow clinicians to experience “Shared Presence,” when physicians and patients enter into a deep sense of trust and respect that facilitates healing.

The New Agenda was a multi-pronged effort that combined onsite learning sessions, coaching and webinars. These tools allowed clinic organizations to engage with the curriculum through a cohort of 2-3 clinicians, and subsequently build a plan to spread these skills and sustain gains beyond the duration of the grant. Grantees received a $25,000 grant to support the implementation of this program.

Grantee Organizations

Organization Location
Chinese Community Health Services San Francisco
Community Medical Centers Inc. Stockton
Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services Honolulu
LifeLong Medical Care Berkeley
MayView Community Health Center Palo Alto
Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc. Sacramento
Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Inc. Hayward
Universal Community Health Center Los Angeles
Watts Healthcare Corporation Los Angeles

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