Improving Communication in Healthcare Olivia Davis | Lauren Coughlin | Natalie Henderson

The Importance of Patient to Doctor Communication

Miscommunication is a universal issue in the healthcare setting. This can be problematic since patient education is a vital component of recovery, minimizing further medical complications and readmittance. Patients are often times not properly informed about care for their incision sites or post-operative steps and this problem needs to be addressed and eliminated.

The Problem

Patients receive inadequate information regarding the process for post operative care needs. This can lead to post operative infections or readmittance to the hospital to fix the problem again. Research shows that when patients are given thorough, personalized education on their conditions, surgeries, and treatment options, they gain more confidence and are more equipped to care for themselves after surgery.

Researchers have used three-dimensional printed models to implement education among younger patients.

It has been proven to make a huge impact to the parent's education pertaining to the medical diagnosis, procedure and postoperative care.

(Yang et al., 2018, p. 1578).

Research shows that a technique known as patient-led clarification where the clarification of doctor’s instructions resulted in improved adherence six months later

(McCabe & Healey, 2018, p.415).

When patients can lead the conversation and address their concerns, they are more aware of how crucial postoperative care is to their recovery.

Our Proposed Solution

A friend of Olivia's had surgery to remove her appendix and expressed how overwhelmed she was with the amount of information she was supposed to retain. With the creation of three-dimensional models, the goal is to help patients better retain the information about their surgical postoperative care prior to discharge. Our group created a three-dimensional hand model to implement this solution.

Red line resembles incision site.

Pros and Cons:

Pros: Patients have a tool to help them learn more about their care, which results in better understanding.

Cons: Focusing on individualized patient education through the creation of 3D prints could be time consuming and expensive.

Points of View

Patient: Receives a better understanding of their post-surgical care and has more opportunity to ask questions.

Nurses and Doctors: Play roles in educating the patient and answering questions. Results in healthcare providers spending more time with their patients.


The benefits of extensive patient education outweigh the cons. When patients are more confident in their abilities to care for themselves after surgery, they are more likely to fully recover without developing infections or needing to be readmitted. Using models and other tools to enhance patient education can create a lasting impact on a person's health.