Expert spotlight: Improve nurse-patient communication with AIDET

Nurse Leader Insider, June 8, 2009

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This week, Jo-Ann C. Byrne, RN, BS, MHSA, director of education and organizational development at St. Vincent’s Healthcare in Jacksonville, FL, discusses a helpful tool that can enhance communication.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for communication models that my nurses can use to improve patient interactions?

A: In nursing across the country, you will find a multitude of communication models. Some models have been homegrown and work very well; others have been developed, written about, and marketed with great success.

One model developed by the Studer Group that is often mentioned is AIDET (acknowledge, introduce, duration, explanation, and thank you). AIDET guides the speaker through the critical elements of a conversation, which the Studer Group refers to as the “Five Fundamentals of Service.” Share the following steps with your nurses to help them clearly communicate and improve the patient experience:

  1. Acknowledge the patient. Smile and make eye contact. Call the patient by his or her name.
  2. Introduce yourself. Your name, role, and what you’re going to do. Why you’re qualified to do it.
  3. Duration of the task at hand. Provide the patient with the length of time expectancy for processes, procedures, waiting, etc.
  4. Explanation. Discuss what’s next, what tools you’re using, who’s coming, what you’re doing, and why.
  5. Thank the patient. Tell the patient you are appreciative of him or her for choosing your hospital.

Editor’s note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to Editor Keri Mucci at and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.

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