“A good use of communication reduces the
arbitrary prescription of antibiotics by 25-30%”

The first session of the HAPPY PATIENT Communication skills: Training the trainers for the countries taking part in the project took place yesterday afternoon. The topic addressed was the need to integrate communication skills into clinical practice and, more specifically, when deciding on the prescription of antibiotics.

Nieves Barragán and Lucía Arias, as members of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) and its Group-Program in Communication and Health (GPCYS), and Sara Anna-Davies and María Rodríguez Barragán (also semFYC and GPCYS members), as teachers in charge of conducting the live session, unraveled the various aspects surrounding an effective communication with the patient throughout the online appointment.

«Effective communication improves the quality of consultations and, according to the evidence collected to date, reduces the arbitrary prescription of antibiotics by 25-30%,»

María Rodríguez Barragán
semFYC Member
Family Doctor in the La Mina (Barcelona)

The speakers recalled that it is essential to consider the multiple facets of communication in the clinical interview, aspects that this course will address in the coming days. The attendees had the opportunity to learn first-hand how these concepts can be applied to the reality of their countries: from non-verbal communication to the development of practical empathy through active listening.

One of the most debated aspects of the day was the one that concerns shared decision-making and how to apply it in the specific case of antibiotics. In this sense, it was recalled that there are notable differences between European societies. This was reflected in the reflection launched from France by our colleague Pia Touboul, from the Department of Public Health and the University Hospital of Nice, who put on the table the debate on the suitability of sharing decisions when it comes to deprescribing, placing the focus more in need to strengthen the explanation of the professional after the decision made.

When it comes to antibiotics, it is expected that there will be a lot of negotiation at the end of the consultation, so assertiveness is going to be key.

Sara-Anna Davies Daunas
Member of semFYC
Family Doctor in Vallcarca (Barcelona)

Sara-Anna Davies, a family doctor at the CAP Vallcarca in Barcelona, ​​explained that, as professionals, «knowing our opinion is crucial, as well as expressing our disagreement without creating conflict, since «when it comes to antibiotics, it is expected that there will be a lot of negotiation at the end of the consultation, so assertiveness is going to be key.»

The HAPPY PATIENT training will be developed over the next few weeks and includes the provision of specific materials, clinical cases, videos, and presentations translated into English for use in the countries of the European consortium, as well as into the different languages ​​of each one of the countries.

You can follow the development of the training and consult the profiles of the social media of the HAPPY PATIENT European project.

Download the project briefing here [+]

From left to right: María Rodríguez Barragán and Sara-Ana Davies Daunas

The project

HAPPY PATIENT is implementing a patient-centered approach, involving healthcare professionals, who act as the first points of contact with the healthcare system and are responsible for the management of community-acquired infections. Its objective is to reduce the arbitrary prescription of antibiotics by 40% in 4 target countries with high data in this area (Spain, France, Greece and Poland). The health professionals who participate in the HAPPY PATIENT project are:

• Providers of Primary Health Care services, such as family doctors, nurses and dentists.
• Emergency services doctors of the first care level
• Health professionals in residences
• Pharmacists.

The work of the project is making available practices and materials focused on the most important interaction in terms of understanding and implementing a more responsible prescription and use of antimicrobials for human consumption: the interaction between health professionals and patients. As a result, continuous impact will be generated through the immediate ability to localize and scale products nationally, regionally and locally.

Happy Patient Partners

The Happy Patient Project Consortium is made up of the Institut Català de la Salut (ICS) & IDIAPJGol Research Institute, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and its Odense General Practice Research Unit (RUPO), Norwegian Research Center (NORCE), Capital Region of Denmark, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and Fundación Canaria Science and Technology Park (FCPCT), University Hospital of Nice (CHU of Nice), My Family Doctor (Mano Seimos Gydytojas), Medical University of Lodz (MUL) ), University of Crete (UoC), Spanish Society of General Practitioners (SEMFYC), European Association of Clinical Pharmacology (EACPT), Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Rennes (CHU Rennes) and International University of Catalonia – Patients Institute (UIC).