EACH exists to provide an academic and practical professional community to those involved in investigating and improving communication in healthcare. Through EACH, researchers, educators, practitioners and policy makers share their expertise to understand and enhance communication between health care providers, patients, and their families.
What EACH does?
EACH develops, promotes and teaches effective healthcare communication worldwide via:
- Research and Teaching to improve healthcare communication and the health outcomes of the general public.
- Striving to impact on policy makers and non-academic stakeholders in order for effective healthcare communication to be integrated in the system of healthcare delivery everywhere
- Knowledge exchange to enable the dissemination of teaching and research products within the healthcare community.
- Best practice sharing to actively demonstrate the changing needs of health delivery and a person-centred approach.
- An active global network of researchers, teachers and practitioners, committed to improving the patient experience.
How EACH does it?
EACH members share their expertise in healthcare communication with each other and the broader community through many ongoing opportunities including:
- Annual International conferences on health care communication bringing together the community of researchers, educators, practitioners and policy makers.
- Workshops and courses focusing on best practices in healthcare communication research and education.
- Active online and in-person networks of learners and professionals, based on common countries, languages or interests.
- A database of shared resources and tools developed and/or curated from key experts in the field, available exclusively to members.
- Direct affiliations with Patient Education and Counseling, the top journal dedicated to scholarship in healthcare communication.
- Promotion of best practices through collaboration with national and international organizations and networks with similar aims.
Some activities generate income for EACH, which is reinvested into other activities for the benefit of our community. In addition, donations and contributions in kind help to ensure that we continue to develop and support improvements in healthcare communication internationally.
Why EACH matters
Ample evidence demonstrates that effective communication is essential to high quality clinical practice and leads to:
- Individualized care that respects patient autonomy
- Safer and more effective healthcare
- Improved disease outcomes
- More satisfied and autonomous patients
- More efficient services
- More cost effective care
Evidence also demonstrates that more effective healthcare communication can be:
- Taught to every health care provider
- Implemented in daily practice
However, over 30 years of healthcare communication research has also shown that there are persistent problems in healthcare communication that negatively impact patients, families and providers. Patients and families frequently feel that they are not supported, listened to or understood; they are not being involved as partners in their medical decisions.
In response to this, EACH supports active development of new, more effective ways of communicating in healthcare in order to create a more equal, empowered and productive relationship between all parties.
Where EACH started
EACH was officially founded as a European organisation in September 2001 by Prof.dr. Jozien Bensing and Prof.dr. Sandra van Dulmen from NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research) in collaboration with researchers, medical educators and practitioners from eight European countries. Its aim was to establish a multidisciplinary community for people active in communication research and training. It was publicly launched as a not-for-profit organisation and transformed into a charity in 2014, which it remains to this day.