This editorial provides areas of communication in health care that need emphasized as we address changing interactions among multiple stakeholders during COVID-19.
The International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) and the Academy for Communication in Healthcare (ACH) suggest that all stakeholders must support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer areas of communication that need to be addressed, including the changing interactions with patients and families, between teachers and learners, between the media and the public, and within health care teams. Specifically related to health care providers’ communication with patients and families, conversations need to focus on risk communication and uncertainty, goals of care, shared decision making, bad news delivery, empathy, wellness, and core communication skills. Beyond the content, individuals must address the changing process of communication as more communication moves to telehealth approaches. Learners and teachers are also seeing a change in the delivery of communication and they must be willing to learn and adapt to online communication strategies, workplace learning, virtual communication assessments, and clinical changes without hands-on experiences. Researchers are adapting the way they conduct and communicate about their research, and policymakers must alter health care guidelines and protocols in light of the changes in communication because of COVID-19. It is important for all stakeholders to recognize, contribute, and adapt to the communication changes occurring.