Bradley R. Fulton, PhD, Donald L. Malott Jr., MBA, PhD, and Louis Ayala, PhD
With the considerable number of quality improvement options available, it is difficult to determine which are right for your organization. As the award-winning outpatient organizations and the research literature cited in this article demonstrate, improving the quality of communication both directly and indirectly increases a patientâ€™s opinion of an organization. Specifically, the extent and quality of communication with the patient and among healthcare team members, both during and after the patientâ€™s visit, are key drivers of the patientâ€™s increased likelihood to recommend the organization. Better communication increases not only patient satisfaction, but also the patientâ€™s adherence to post-visit guidelines and medication, which is associated with increased quality of life. Thus, communication-type initiatives are central to improving service quality.