Improve Patient Communication
By Christina Calleros, RDH, MS, and Diana B. Aboytes, RDH, MS
For patients who only understand a portion of the information provided by health care professionals, it is nearly impossible to take medications properly, access appropriate services, and obtain accurate diagnoses. Studies show that language miscommunications are associated with misdiagnosess, drug errors, patient dissatisfaction, and overall poor health outcomes. Language barriers and poor health literacy can contribute to communication breakdowns between clinicians and patients. Oral health professionals need to be prepared to overcome such issues in order to provide the best care possible and achieve positive outcomes.