iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Communication With Health Providers

Among adults who reported having poor communication with their health providers in 2012, Hispanics had the highest percentage (11 percent) followed by blacks (10 percent) and whites (7 percent). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, Chartbook for Hispanic Health Care.)

Doctor, the patient will see you now

Study looks at harms of poor doctor-patient communication Female patients with chronic pain who reported they had experienced poor communication with their physicians expressed anger and said they wanted to avoid additional care, a study in The American Journal of Medicine showed. “Our work indicates that the effects of patients feeling that their doctor doesn’t believe or understand them can be damaging both emotionally and physiologically. This could lead to worsening of illness, known as the ‘nocebo response,'” said lead author Maddy Greville-Harris. (1/29)

Social media use in health care — what are the implications

58% of healthcare CEOs say social media users are influencing their business

According to a survey by PwC:

  • 24% healthcare CEOs post about their health experiences or updates.
  • 27% comment about their health experiences or updates.
  • 16% post reviews of medications or treatments or doctors or health insurers.
  • 16% share health-related videos or images.
  • 18% trace and share their health symptoms or behavior.
  • 20% join a health-related cause.
  • 28% support a health-related cause.

Note: HRI surveyed 1060 consumers; selected demographics may result in smaller sample sizes.

Source: PwC HRI Social Media Consumer Survey

Emailing with your Doctor

Most adults want doctors who offer e-mail communicationA survey by Catalyst Healthcare Research found 93% of responding people said they would choose a physician who offers e-mail communication. Researchers also found one-quarter of those people would select the practice even if they were charged $25 per episode. (5/13)

Geriatric care includes authentically engaging and listening to the patient and their needs

Specialists offer tips for communicating with elderly patients
Doctors who treat elderly patients must make themselves aware of each patient’s limitations while being careful to avoid stereotyping, the Gerontological Society of America says in a new report. The group offers guidelines for improving communication with elderly patients, including minimizing background noise, monitoring and controlling gestures and other nonverbal behavior when talking with patients, facing patients when speaking, and reinforcing verbal information and instructions with easy-to-understand printed materials. American Medical News (free content) (10/29)

A huge opportunity for improve employee benefits communications

42% say it is extremely/very important to tailor their benefits communications to employees at different levels or life stages; however, only 31% do so.
46% of health care employers say their company communicates somewhat/not very effectively with employees about benefits offered.
Health care employers are the most likely to say workers are very/extremely knowledgeable about employer benefits (48%); however, 33% of health care employers only communicate to employees at open enrollment or new hire enrollment.
67% say employees understand their benefits communications; however, only 33% survey employee understanding of benefits communications.

Source: 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report

AHRQ Director, Dr. Carolyn Clancy urges you to ask questions

“Our studies were revealing that, oftentimes, medical errors and avoidable harms to patients are the result of poor communication between clinicians and patients.”
Dr. Carolyn Clancy
See Dr. Clancy’s video on communications heres:

Patient centered care requies good communications

According to a recent survey, the top challenges to good doctor-patient communications cited by responding physicians were:

  • a lack of time with patients – 78%
  • misinformed patients – 53%
  • information overload – 46%

Source: “Survey: Physicians See Improvements in Efficiency, Quality of Care, Yet Significant Barriers Remain ,” Wolters Kluwer Health Press Release, November 1, 2011,,-Quality-of-Care,-Yet-Significant-Barriers-Remain.aspx

Online Patient / Provider Communications are Beginning to Take Hold

Percent of Americans Who have Communicated with a Provider Online










Data Source: 2010 PULSE Healthcare Survey, Thomson Reuters
Source: HealthLeaders Media, August 2011

Miscommunication between Primary Care Physicians and Specialists

According to a new study by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published in the January 10, 2011 Archives of Internal Medicine, primary care and specialist physicians have decidedly different views about how often their colleagues communicate with them.

The study finds that 69.3 percent of primary care physicians (PCPs) reported regularly—“always” or “most of the time”—sending a patient’s history and the reason for the referral to the specialist, but only 34.8 percent of specialists said they regularly receive such information. On the flip side, 80.6 percent of specialists said they regularly send consultation results to the referring PCP, but only 62.2 percent of PCPs said they received such information.

Source: Center for Studying Health System Change, January 10, 2011.

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