Words That Work and RELATE™

"Our Emergency Department’s patient experience scores are on the rise along with our patient volumes and we’ve even received positive comments from our ED physicians when they encounter patients whose wait times have been above the norm. Use of RELATE when rounding in the ED lobby has made the difference.  This communication model has made even the most difficult patient scenario, waiting in the ED, a positive, “WOW” experience for many patients/families." --  Mary Lou Randolph, VP Patient Care Services, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
Did you know that the most common cause of malpractice litigation is failed communication1?  In fact, 60% of medical and 56% of surgical safety incidents are related to poor communication2.   The entirepatient experience is determined by the level of positive interpersonal communication – from pre registration to discharge.  
Healthcare professionals must evolve how we speak and interact with patients and families as a means to reduce preventable adverse events, improve quality outcomes and increase patients’ perceptions of care. 
Our research on the challenges and opportunities for patient communication resulted in our newest tool, RELATE, to ensure consistent, patient centered dialogue. RELATE  Reassure, Explain, Listen, Answer, Take action and Express appreciation–assures consistent, meaningful, two-way dialogue with patients and their families at every touch point during their hospital experience.  It impacts every aspect of the care continuum. 
For the busy nurse at the bedside, or registration staff stretched for resources, it does not take extra time, but produces significant results in improving clinical outcomes, saving lives, and saving millions of dollars annually as well.
Our Curriculum and Certification Process
The best way to create an environment of “every patient, every time” is through consistent training, usage and accountability.  This cannot be accomplished with a video or seminar.  RELATE is delivered through a multi-day “train the trainer” process.  Six to eight in-house facilitators are developed who become proficient in the model.  They then train your staff and physicians, and provide ongoing support.  Facilitators are certified since they will drive organizational self-sufficiency for RELATE, as well as sustainable outcomes.
Specific deliverables of RELATE include:
  • Expert onsite orientation and training
  • Certification of 6-8 in-house RELATE facilitators
  • Facilitation Guides
  • Participant workbooks
  • RELATE Real-Life Vignettes
  • “I Can RELATE” pins
Please contact Marcy Vlachos at marcy.vlachos@healthstream.com for more information about RELATE.
1 The Physician Executive
2 HealthLeaders February 2009 Fact File