The objectives of the conference for healthcare communication educators were to impart best practice strategies in communicating with patients through the illness trajectory and to provide participants with the skills to implement the communication recommendations outlined in the Optimal Care Pathways.
With delegates representing 22 universities, 22 hospitals and 17 key government and health organisations, this was a good forum to develop their communication skills teaching to further contribute to workforce development.
The conference was opened by Prof Robert Thomas OAM, Special Advisor on Health and Todd Harper, CEO Cancer Council Victoria followed by plenary presentations from Dr Jonathan Silverman, University of Cambridge, and Assoc Prof Evelyn van Weel Baumgarten, President European Association of Communication in Healthcare. This set the scene by outlining the evidence and impact of effective communication on patient outcomes and patient-centred care, along with effective ways to improve communication skills of health professionals from undergraduate to continuing professional education. Case studies were used to demonstrate how to empower patients by providing them with tools and tailored communication.
The two-day conference and two-day intensive education program has enabled plans to formalise a communication in healthcare network, and identify priority areas for collaboration. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Education@cancervic.org.au