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Incorporating the Teach-Back Method at Your Medical Practice

With reports stating that the average patient forgets up to 80% of what they are told at a healthcare visit, it is important that providers work to improve these statistics. The teach-back method is one area where this can be done.

When assessing a medical practice, one topic PSIC asks about and addresses, if necessary, is the teach-back method. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “teach-back is a way to confirm that you have explained to the patient what they need to know in a manner that the patient understands.” This method can also be used to help patients understand what they need to do in order to achieve an optimal outcome.

With reports stating that the average patient forgets up to 80% of what they are told at a healthcare visit once they leave, and that nearly half of what is retained is incorrect, it is important that healthcare providers work to improve these statistics. The teach-back method is one area where this can be done by enhancing the communication between patients and providers.

If you are already using the teach-back method in your medical practice, you understand the importance of communicating with your patients in a clear, non-condescending and non-leading manner.

At times, it’s easier to incorporate a new action, such as the teach-back method, if you observe how another individual is using it. By observing another physician, you can review his/her approach and determine if you can adopt and/or modify this at your practice.

Johns Hopkins Nursing has created a free webinar that demonstrates the teach-back method. This webinar highlights examples of how physician office staff members are using the teach-back method, which could apply to your practice.

Keeping the teach-back method in mind, and using it, can be an easy and caring way to ensure patients are receiving and understanding the information you present. 

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