Effective communication between health professionals and patients has been found to be crucial and important for the overall functioning of the healthcare system. It has a positive impact on readmission rates, understanding treatment options, adherence to treatment, following the medication schedule with consistency, cost related impacts and overall positive health outcomes for patients (Nelson, 2008; Bull et al., 2002).
However, health communication seems to attract little attention, especially during medical and nursing training. There is evidence that students’ communication skills deteriorate, while teaching these skills is neglected due to workload and clinical work commitments (Silverman, 2009). Apart from that, it appears that vocational training opportunities on health communication are limited. Thus, communication skills of a busy physician/nurse are often not adequately developed and the need for health professionals to become better communicators remains (Traveline et al., 2005).
In an effort to cover these needs, the project will explore the shortages in training as well as the perceptions among health professionals and finally develop a comprehensive training curriculum, which will be easily replicated across the EU.
The aim of this training is to build and strengthen communication skills among health professionals that will positively influence their work with both their patients and their co-workers within the health care setting.