[Project status: Development]
Studies have shown that effective communication between doctors and patients has a range of significant benefits, [including] alleviating pain, increasing patient compliance and improving satisfaction with care [1]. However, many doctors struggle to communicate effectively and empathically with patients, particularly when it comes to conveying complex or emotional information.
This project seeks to improve doctor-patient communication by providing visual feedback to doctors about their communication styles. By visualizing conversations between doctors and patients, we enable physicians to identify patterns and gain insight into how they talk to patients. Our goal is to enhance doctor education, and ultimately, to improve patient outcomes.
This project began in the Fall of 2012.¬†Working with transcripts of doctors and patients communicating in clinical settings, we explored several approaches to visualization. We are now developing software to generate “visual report cards” for use in medical training. An evaluation is planned for the Spring of 2013.
Jon Cook, UW Design
Tad Hirsch, UW Design
Tony Back, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1. Back AL, Arnold RM, and Tulsky JA. Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients: Balancing Honesty with Empathy and Hope. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.