Effective Patient Care - Communication From the Heart, Action From the Mind | David Couper Consulting

Effective Patient Care - Communication From the Heart, Action From the Mind

Course Three: Communication from the Heart, Action from the Mind

Like practicing medicine, communication is an art that requires conscious, deliberate and ongoing practice. A healthcare practitioner’s ability to listen, explain and share empathy with their patients directly impacts the quality of their care. Nevertheless, patient communication is one of the most challenging areas for many clinicians.

For the first time in recent history, healthcare insurers not only reward physicians for healthcare outcomes but also for patient satisfaction. Study after study has shown the direct relationship between clinician communication and patient satisfaction. It isn’t enough for doctors to cure; they must also be experienced as the ones who care.  

Due to healthcare reform, physicians are pressured to see more patients with less time. “On average, physicians wait just 18 seconds before interrupting their patients’ narrative of their symptoms.”  This creates an environment where patients do not feel heard, often leaving their appointments unclear or with misinformation. A report by the Joint Commission found that “communication failure” was the main issue with over 70% of “serious adverse health outcomes in hospitals.”

“We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know." - Carl Rogers


The purpose of this course is to serve and support clinicians to clarify and cultivate their own conscious approach to communicating with others so that their experience is enlarging and effective. We will reacquaint ourselves with the impact the position has within the healthcare profession and with patients.  And we will explore concepts like compassion fatigue and sympathy vs. empathy as a means of more effectively relating within our profession.


The Art of Medicine – Reconnect to the art of medicine and how we express and experience it within our daily practice.

Communication is the Place from Which We Come – The way we communicate in all settings, professionally and personally, stems from what is occurring inside ourselves.

The Power of Listening – Become more acquainted with ourselves and explore what gets in the way of really listening to the people we engage with in our lives.

The Potency of Words – Our ability to consciously choose the language we use greatly impacts our experience and that of others.

A Call on Compassion – When we honor others, we also honor ourselves as members of this noble profession and as kind human beings.


At DCC, our team of physician coaches has developed a high-impact, engaging, and experiential one-day workshop.

In this course, doctors are given a process, tools and techniques to:

  • Create a greater understanding of what it means to communicate from our hearts in support of building rapport with patients and coworkers.
  • Actively engage our Emotional Intelligence in support of all our communication and create better clinical outcomes.
  • Delve into the power of listening and become more acquainted with ourselves and what gets in our way of really listening to the people we engage with in our lives.
  • Understand what it means to create a place for shared thinking to occur and create a partnership with patients.
  • Develop a conscious connection to the power of the words we use and their implications on the lives of our patients.
  • Improve patient satisfaction through increased empathy and compassion.

With this program, the organization will experience:

  • Improvements in patient satisfaction.
  • Reduction in physician turnover.
  • Reduction in negligence and compliance issues.
  • Increase in productivity.
  • Increase in revenue.


DCC is committed to helping our clients create lasting change and lasting results.  This means that while we have an arsenal of research, data, and assessments, we know that true change does not happen with just receiving new knowledge.  We guide physicians through experiential processes so that each participant leaves empowered with tools they can use right now.

Positive patient communication is critical to the success of any healthcare organization.  Our team is uniquely qualified in the healthcare industry and has supported many clients in achieving positive outcomes, both internally and externally.

The physician who understands each patient on a personal level stands a far better chance of experiencing and conveying empathy and treating the patient and illness effectively than the physician who does not have that level of understanding.  - Elliot M. Hirsch, MD


Learn about our other Healthcare NowTM Workshops:

Caring for Ourselves so We Can Care for Others

Resilience in the Face of Chaos: When Managing Change Doesn’t Work

The Collective Voice - How to Empower Organizations