CHAPTER 2

Communication and Patient Experience

Suffering … is real for our patients … We will not rest until we have done all we can to alleviate their suffering. —Thomas H. Lee, MD1

Most of us would agree that the highest calling of medicine is to relieve suffering. To accomplish this, clinicians and health systems must look beyond medical interventions and instead prioritize truly caring for patients. By “caring,” we do not mean that clinicians should simply be nicer so that patients feel happier, or that every hospital should offer Ritz Carlton-style amenities. Rather, it means we must build healing relationships that promote partnership, empathy, respect, and understanding. It means we must realize that patient experience correlates with ...

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