Grant Application

Carla L. Spagnoletti,MD, MS, with Shanta Zimmer, MD; Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS; Laurie Rack, RN; and Jill Allenbaugh, MD, of UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside


Proposed Innovation

Hospitalized patients often complain that they don’t understand the information and instructions they receive from doctors and nurses responsible for their care. This can result in frustration, miscommunication, and misunderstanding of important details.

Through this project, a training program will be developed to better prepare doctors and nurses to communicate between themselves and their hospitalized patients. Training will focus on how to deliver complex medical information to patients in small, easily digestible segments without using medical jargon to ensure that patients truly understand.


Improvements in Action

This project aims to provide workshop-based training sessions to 120 internal medicine residents and 180 medical nurses at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside. The workshops will include didactics, small group discussions, video demonstrations of simulated bedside conversations, practice through role-play, and faculty and peer feedback.


Results — In Progress

The project is expected to significantly improve communication and the patient experience. Residents and nurses will be observed and surveyed pre- and post-training to assess whether their communication skills improved. It is anticipated that the project eventually will be expanded to include other doctors and nurses across the UPMC health system.