Improving doctors’ letters – towards rivers of living water
Published in MJA Insight on 26/10/2020 as "Improving Doctors' Letters - towards better patient care" https://insightplus.mja.com.au/2020/42/improving-doctors-letters-towards-better-patient-care/
Effective written communication between doctors is essential to safety in healthcare but the standard remains poor. We believe that insights from the human factors and psychology literature should inform our understanding of what effective written communication should look like. We propose that the formulation is a key skill in letter writing that is underdeveloped, and put forward a template to assist novice letter writers. We briefly explore the role of medical education and culture that may hold back progress in this area and point to possible future research directions.