Consultation

“ Your project is paradigm-changing.”
Alexi Wright, MD, MPH
Gynecological Oncology Program, Dana Farber Cancer Center
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

CCM faculty is available for consultation to clinical practices and institutions to address the challenges associated with communication in caring for patients with a treatable but incurable diagnosis. Weighing the benefits and risks of treatment options or shifting the focus to quality of life issues are difficult conversations for patients, families and clinicians. What patients understand or may misunderstand about the meaning of the words “incurable” and “prognosis” can influence the decisions they make.

Ineffective communication between clinicians and patients can increase the likelihood of unmet needs, unnecessary suffering and regrets. In addition, excessive use of medical technology and insufficient use of palliative care and hospice can result in increased healthcare costs.

CCM has created a framework which includes communication tools that activate patients to identify their needs, preferences and goals, including considerations about palliative and end of life care. This framework can help patients open these conversations sooner and share in the responsibility for planning care. Furthermore, effective communication can lead to improved patient and family satisfaction with clinicians. Our consultation group offers a range of services to clinical and administrative staff based upon practice needs. Training and supervision are also available.

CCM has well-established relationships with healthcare professionals, medical institutions, advocacy groups and policy makers. We have been invited to present our work at medical grand rounds, conferences and community forums throughout the United States and in England. Committed to evidence-based research, CCM is collaborating on studies with the White River Junction VA Medical Center (VT) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA). Journal articles by CCM founders have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Cancer Education and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Stories about our innovative work have been featured on NPR, Vermont Public Radio and in newspapers nationwide.

For more information contact Bernard Bandman, PhD b.bandman@communicationinmedicine.org