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What people complain about (in medicine)

Patient complaints are not a new area in the medical research literature. In fact, there are countries (Australia, UK, New Zealand) who have studied patient complaints for decades. They made important steps in using patient feedback, created streamlined processes for handling concerns and more importantly, they are using this valuable data to drive improvement. There have also been numerous studies done on this topic. Researchers aimed to identify the main cause of complaints, establish categories of complaints, and worked at standardizing this information, so that we can all learn from each other. These studies continue, and the recent pandemic added a renewed interest in how to deal with aggression and conflict in healthcare settings. When it comes to the main reason why people (patient/ families/ caregivers) complain, the research in different healthcare systems show the same common theme: communication. This category includes: missed/ lack of communication/ insufficient communication, as well as different types of communication (verbal, non-verbal). It seems that all over the world, the one thing we can all improve on, is communication... "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"

(George Bernard Shaw).

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