Patient-physician communication as organizational innovation in the managed care setting

Am J Manag Care. 2002 Jul;8(7):622-30.


Despite changes in the healthcare system, the relationship between patients and physicians remains fundamental to high-quality care. Managed care rules and restrictions, such as constraints on choice of providers, review processes, and decreasing length of visits, are creating potential conflicts between patients and their physicians. To strengthen the patient-physician relationship, some managed care organizations are implementing communication skills training for physicians. This article provides case studies describing how 2 large managed care organizations successfully incorporated communication skills training into their environments. An organizational perspective is used to delineate the 3 stages--adoption, implementation, and institutionalization--that managed care organizations generally traverse in incorporating communication skills programs and making them an integral part of their organizational culture. Specific suggestions are provided for physician leaders and administrators who are considering similar programs in their settings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Managed Care Programs / organization & administration*
  • Managed Care Programs / standards
  • Medical Staff / education*
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Staff Development
  • United States