MD Explained in an Understandable Way

Best Practices

  1. Contact RN to join team during rounds
  2. Introduce name and role (or confirm if patient remembers)
  3. Sit down or squat at eye level (at least one person)
  4. Don't use medical jargon
  5. Explain the purpose and possible side effect(s) of new medication(s)
  6. End the encounter with "What questions do you have?" (rather than, "Do you have questions?")
  7. Assess and confirm patient understanding of one key point during the encounter 
    Explore the patient's agreement with the plan
  8. Statements of empathy in response to emotion:
    Partnership—We will work together on this.
    Empathy—You sound upset, I'm sorry.
    Apology—I'm sorry that this is so hard.
    Respect—You've been very brave.
    Legitimization—This would be hard on anyone.
    Support—We are here to help you.