Communicating in Specific Contexts is the third of a four-part series that provides more information about ASA's Enhancing Patient Communications Program.

Although most physicians feel confident that they treat patients equally, preconceived notions bias our interactions, and we may not even be aware of them. Patients may also experience the same unconscious bias in their interactions with us. A review of 42 studies published in BMC Medical Ethics found that health care professionals exhibit the same level of implicit bias as the wider population and that this bias reduces quality of care.

Recognizing that we make assumptions and then challenging those assumptions is difficult, but it is vital to ensuring we are providing high-quality care that leads to good outcomes. The Enhancing Patient Communications Program toolkit was developed to provide anesthesiologists with resources to enhance patients' experiences, focusing on communicating with them as individuals and giving them the respect...

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