Safety and Quality > Our Work > Clinical Communications > Patient-Clinician Communication

The Commission’s Patient-Clinician Communication Program focuses on communication between patients and clinicians across the patient journey. The program will use a person-centred approach to improving communication by enhancing the patients’ role in clinical communication, decision making, advocacy and self-determination, to facilitate safety and quality outcomes.

Our aim is to ensure that effective, reliable and appropriate use of communication occurs between patients, carers, community health services and clinicians.

Resources for improving patient-clinician communication at transitions of care

The Commission has developed three information sheets to assist senior executives and clinical leaders, healthcare providers and consumers improve patient-clinician communication at transitions of care in hospitals.

Two consumer posters on communicating with your healthcare provider are also available. These posters can be used by health service organisations to promote effective patient-clinician communication.


Research on patient-clinician communication

The Commission funded two research projects to better understand the evidence on patient-clinician communication and identify existing strategies, tools and resources to enable patient engagement in communication.

Resources developed to support patient-clinician communication at transitions of care were informed by the findings of these projects.

The first research project, undertaken by the Centre for Health Communication (UTS), provides an overview of relevant research and policy, summarising key findings of literature from 1976 to 2012.

The second research project, undertaken by a consortium from Deakin and Griffith Universities, focuses on engaging patients in communication at transition of care points in acute care services. The project involved a literature review and interviews with key stakeholders across seven hospitals. Stakeholders included nurses, allied health practitioners, doctors, patients, volunteers and family members.

The report on the project examines the key enablers and barriers to engaging patients in communication at transitions of care and describes the tools, processes and strategies identified in research and stakeholder interviews. Essential elements and guiding principles to promote patient engagement in communication with clinicians at transitions of care are also proposed. The full report and a summary of the report’s findings: