Using Teachbacks in Healthcare

This from an article on the Teach Back Process by the Society of Hospital Medicine:

  1. Using simple lay language, explain the concept or demonstrate the process to the patient/caregiver. Technical terms should generally be avoided. If the patient/caregiver has limited English proficiency, a professional translator should be utilized to reduce miscommunication.
  2. Ask the patient/caregiver to repeat in his or her own words how he or she understands the concept explained. If a process was demonstrated to the patient, ask the patient/caregiver to demonstrate it, independent of assistance, for the clinician.
  3. Identify and correct misunderstandings of or incorrect procedures by the patient/caregiver.
  4. Ask the patient/caregiver to demonstrate his or her understanding or procedural ability again to ensure the above-noted misunderstandings are now corrected.
  5. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the clinician is convinced the comprehension of the patient/ caregiver about the concept or ability to perform the procedure accurately and safely is ensured.

The hospital’s example is to use the teachback technique as an assessment.

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