By Vital Talk
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Learn to give serious news to patients and their families—and be honest, compassionate, and hopeful.
Created by Dr Anthony Back, an oncologist at the University of Washington, the VitalTalk app enables physicians, medical students, and other clinicians to learn how to give bad, sad, or serious news to patients and their families. First, master a simple 5-step “G.U.I.D.E.” method for giving serious news, watch videos, read tips and how to get yourself out of pitfalls. Second, before you have a serious news conversation, remind yourself about the 5 steps of G.U.I.D.E.; then prepare for the conversation, and set a reminder for the app to debrief you. Then later, debrief for a moment with the app on what went well, and what you’d like to improve next time.
The 5 steps of G.U.I.D.E. are an evidence-based, refined shorthand for the ‘best practice’ communication skills needed to give serious news effectively. In addition, the app helps prep you before you walk into that room, and debriefs you afterward—and this learning process is what really helps professional acquire expertise. Communication isn’t about charisma—it’s a skill that improves with practice.
A great app to help busy clinicians to pay attention to their communication with patients. I love that you can go over your past debriefs to see how you've improved over time.