Listening Behavior Course and Tools

Harris Health System Initiative: Improve Patient Listening Ratings

Similar to other skills in medicine, listening to the patient is a technique that can be refined. Listening is a key driver in how the patient feels about their experience. In partnership with NRC Health, the Patient Experience Team has compiled evidence based best practices into a toolkit for Providers. These tools are designed to help you demonstrate to the patient that you are listening.

Commit to Sit Listening Tips

  1. Introduce yourself (and any care team members) and your role in their care.
  2. Ask the patient if they would like to use an interpreter to help communicate.
  3. Sit facing the patient at eye level.
  4. If a chair is not available, position yourself so that you are at eye level with patient.
  5. Lean in, speak in a soft, positive tone of voice.
  6. Ask clarifying questions.
  7. Repeat back your understanding of the patient’s concerns.
  8. Pay attention to the patient’s body language and acknowledge emotions you hear expressed.
  9. When encounter is complete, thank the patient for speaking with you.
  10. Not all cultures interpret eye contact in the same way. Adjust as appropriate.