Bedside manner training puts focus on empathy, listening

04/11/2013 | Wall Street Journal, The

Hospitals, insurers and medical schools are trying to help physicians improve their patient communication skills through education programs that include role-play exercises and emphasize key words that show compassion and empathy. Medicare now uses patient satisfaction survey scores as part of its payment formula, and better bedside manners could protect physicians from lawsuits. "If a doctor and patient have a strong relationship, even if something goes wrong, they are less likely to sue for it," says Robin Diamond of malpractice insurer Doctors Co.

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