At the heart of Stamp & Chase’s integrated approach to communication improvement for frontline managers and staff is our core curriculum, CAREmunication®. This evidence-based model uses time-tested best practices in interpersonal communication and applies them to the unique challenges in the health care environment.
The eight-module curriculum combines theory with practice in a highly interactive format. The series, designed to be delivered in two 2-hour sessions, starts with an Online Communication Skills Self-Assessment to help staff individualize improvement goals. The comprehensive Program Workbook serves as a resource for handling communication issues after the initial classes. This content also can be added to a hospital’s intranet for convenient, real-time access for staff.
Using a train-the-trainer methodology, classes are facilitated by colleagues to increase acceptance and buy-in by the team. Facilitator Training provides in-house program leaders with everything they need to be successful, including detailed, easy-to-follow Facilitator Guides and comprehensive presentation materials. Facilitators continue to be supported with individualized advice and coaching from Stamp & Chase advisers.
The very nature of the unique yet interdependent roles of physicians and other patient care staff has stressed relationships among health care professionals for generations. Today, research clearly confirms that strained communication with and among physicians is more than simply a source of frustration; it compromises quality of care and affects the culture of safety within health care organizations.
Open, honest, direct communication among the entire care team is one of the most important distinguishing characteristics of high reliability organizations described in the seminal work of Weick and Sutcliffe. Because physicians traditionally assume the role of captain of the ship, their communication behaviors and the openness they either encourage, begrudgingly tolerate or actively repress is a primary determinant of communication practices among the team.
In collaboration with physician leadership, Stamp & Chase approaches communication improvement among physician audiences in a measured, thoughtful, respectful way. Initial project stages are focused on building trust among key constituencies – both physicians and other professionals among the care team – and understanding how and where current communication practices support and impede optimal performance.
With this solid foundation, Stamp & Chase crafts in collaboration with leadership an approach uniquely structured to address identified needs that aligns with overall organizational priorities. Specific initiatives may include, but are not necessarily limited to: 1) continuing medical education offerings on communication practices that support quality and safety, 2) individual consultations with key physicians/practices, 3) collaborative problem-solving among the care team, and 4) models and methods for ongoing monitoring and reporting.
Because of their pivotal role on the health care team, physicians’ behaviors have a profound impact on how a team functions and on their ultimate results. Communication practices and the significant role they play in the high functioning of a team cannot be neglected if organizations aspire to achieve superior results and deliver care in the safest environment possible.