For someone facing a new round of chemo, an uncertain prognosis, or diminished abilities, speaking up can be scary. Yet there is widespread agreement that conversations are the key to providing better care for people in these circumstances.
Most solutions approach this as a long-term skills problem: With enough training and mentorship, clinicians will learn to initiate these conversations. But lengthy trainings tend to create only a small number of communication experts. True person-centered care requires a team approach – it cannot be effectively delivered by a few staff members.
The solution to this problem lies in moving from complex trainings to simple tools and structures that can be used by everyone on a care team. Research points to a specific set of behaviors that help people surface unspoken issues in a group. We’ve built the Conversation System to promote these behaviors among clinicians, patients, and family members, which leads to productive conversations about challenging and uncomfortable topics.
And as it is used, the Conversation System builds the kinds of skills that help staff manage other communication challenges, further strengthening your team’s ability to find better solutions.