Processes for effective communication in primary care

Saul J. Weiner, Beth Barnet, Tina L. Cheng, Timothy P. Daaleman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Communication in the delivery of health care services occurs along 2 axes: between providers and patients and among several providers. In primary care, a principle objective in the provider-patient relationship is facilitating whole-person care, which is care provided in the context of family and community. In addition, primary care emphasizes communication between the primary care physician and other providers with the goal of integrated care, or care provided in the context of a patient's overall health care needs. However, considering both the U.S. health care delivery system and medical education programs, several obstacles interfere with the necessary processes of communication. This paper addresses those obstacles with a conceptual framework for effective communication in primary care. Recommendations propose formalizing requirements for the exchange of information among providers, enhancing communication training, disseminating information technology, and mitigating external factors that disrupt communication in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-714
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 19 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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