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Don't Underestimate Emotional Intelligence

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, March 6, 2014

Residents learn to better communicate with patients by reviewing videos showing them interacting with a staged patient. Focusing on raising the emotional intelligence of physicians who are already in practice is more difficult, admits Zipp. He says the usual approach of going to physicians with data doesn't always work. Instead, Zipp says he tries to find a shared value, which is usually the care of the patient.

"One of the lines I've used before is, 'You may not be aware of how you're perceived, and this is how it affects your patient care,'" says Zipp who explains that it's hard for physicians to know they've missed the mark with a patient because they want to do a good job.

Financially Rewarding Behavior
A doctor who is able to understand the best way to give patients information in a way they will understand and find meaningful will likely be able to take advantage of alternative payment models that are being set up as part of healthcare's transformation.

Why? Because those patients are more likely to be engaged, says Zipp, which leads to better medication and plan of care adherence. It's not a silver bullet, but it could significantly reduce barriers that influence a patient's care when they are out of your hospital.

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