Palliverse was lucky enough to be present for the excellent Teaching communication in Healthcare conference in Melbourne hosted by the Cancer Council Victoria last December. At this conference multiple members of the European Association of Healthcare Communication including Jonathan Silverman and current president Evelyn Van Weel -Baumgarten joined local representatives of EACH Peter Martin and Megan Chiswell.
During the event the key message was of the importance of communication skills to be able to provide care that is patient-centred, empathetic, safe, ethical, efficient and high-quality. Unlike many other clinical skills communication is also largely universal in that it is practiced by clinicians in all encounters. Supporting communication skills education is therefore a critical way of improving the quality of care provided by our healthcare system.
Another important message from this event was that if you are interested in healthcare communication you are not alone. Many clinicians, educators, researchers, policy-makers and community members want to improve healthcare communication. Working on this goal collectively, and combining our energy and resources makes a lot of sense. Internationally EACH demonstrates this principle, founding a world-wide network movement to improve the quality of care through improving communication. At the conference in December attendees also clearly voiced a wish for a closer network of those interested in teaching, practicing and researching healthcare communication in our region. The plans for how to achieve this are still being fleshed out but for any of you who are interested in being involved in this movement then I urge you to contact Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Meg (Megan.Chiswell@cancervic.org.au) to find out more.
If you are looking for still more ways to get involved:
- Check out the conference hashtag on twitter (#healthcomms2016) and follow @EACH_AUS
- Consider going to the ANZAHPE conference where a health communicators get together is planned
- Have a look at the 2017 tEACH courses available
- tEACH Train the Trainer courses – that occur in spring in the UK and Dublin
- rEACH Summer School – 4, 7 & 8 September 2017 in London, UK
- Summer Event – 4-6 September 2017 in London, UK