How giving an ‘Agenda’ makes your clinic visits shorter and more focused.
At the beginning of the presentation top communicators, and lecturers understand the importance of an agenda. Not only does it keep the audience’s attention, but it keeps the speaker focused and accountable.
The same rules can be applied at the very beginning of a clinical conversation.
By telling the patient at the beginning of their visit an agenda of what will be covered you achieve 2 important things.
1.) You build trust and accountability. You tell the patient everything that is going to be covered at the visit. This helps them relax, knowing how the time will be spent and can vocalize any other questions they may have from the beginning. This allows you to frame your dialogue around what’s most important to them.
2.) It keeps you both focused on following the agenda. It keeps questions focused on the topic at hand before moving on to the next, and ensures you both are following a schedule. This helps providers from feeling like they’re repeating themselves or even talking in circles.
Apply our Communication 101 Tips
Keep it simple.
1.) First, I want to take a minute and ensure I understand what brought you in, as well as what your goals are. (Allowing the patient a voice at the beginning can shorten the time)
2.) Then we’re going to go over your diagnosis and what that means.
3.) We’re going to talk about what our solution/treatment is
4.) I’ll make sure I answer all questions you may have and discuss the next steps.
How does that sound? Anything else you’d like to cover?
(Asking this at the beginning will tell you what is most important to a patient, and allow you to focus your dialogue on that.)