About EACH

about us

Welcome to EACH, International Association for Communication in Healthcare. Whether you are a researcher, teacher, practitioner or patient, or indeed all four, EACH exists to offer you support and help about all matters concerning communication in healthcare. We would like you to consider EACH to be both the place where you turn to as your natural home and also the pressure group working to support all of our healthcare communication endeavours.

Please consider becoming a member of EACH. There are many benefits for you as an individual as you will see on the membership page, but also, in order to provide help for the wider community, EACH needs to represent the whole constituency of communication research and teaching and to be your advocates in the wider world. So your membership is vital for our work.

What is EACH

EACH is a worldwide charitable organisation and our overall aim is to promote effective evidence-based patient-centred healthcare communication between patients, relatives and healthcare practitioners throughout the world.

Our activities fall into three broad areas and are overseen by our three major committees:

Research (through the rEACH committee)
Teaching (through the tEACH committee)
Practice (through the pEACH committee)

History of EACH

EACH was officially founded in September 2001 by Prof.dr. Jozien Bensing and Prof.dr. Sandra van Dulmen from NIVEL (Netherlands institute for health services research), Utrecht, the Netherlands in collaboration with researchers, medical educators and practitioners from eight European countries. It was publicly launched as a not-for-profit organisation in Patient Education and Counselling (2001, 43: 1-4)  with the aim of establishing a multidisciplinary society for all people who are active in communication research and training. EACH transformed into a charity in 2014, with the legal status of a charitable incorporated organisation. Please find our new constitution here.

Why do we do what we do

The rationale for all that we do is that effective healthcare communication is essential to high quality clinical practice. Almost all other objectives in healthcare are mediated through communication between health professionals, patients and relatives. The evidence-base behind effective healthcare communication and the move towards a person-centred approach incorporating shared responsibility and decision making is firmly established and adds to the moral imperative of a more equal relationship between patients and providers.

Overall aim of EACH

EACH is a worldwide organisation with the overall aim of promoting effective evidence-based patient-centred healthcare communication between patients, relatives and healthcare practitioners. The association is meant for all who are active in communication research and training and for patients, practitioners and students with an interest in communication in healthcare.

Our strategies for achieving our aim are as follows:

  • promoting the development of healthcare communication research and education to improve the quality of communication in healthcare globally and hence improve the health outcomes of the general public
  • enabling the exchange and dissemination of products of teaching and research within the community of healthcare communication researchers and teachers, to enhance the quality of communication in healthcare and thereby improve patients’ and relatives’ experience
  • more widely disseminating knowledge about effective communication between patients, relatives and health professionals, extolling best practices and improvements in education to comply with the changing needs of health delivery and increasing moves towards a person-centred approach incorporating shared responsibility and decision making
  • developing an active network of researchers, teachers and practitioners in the world, committed to improving the patient experience in the field of communication in healthcare

How do we do this?

In order to put these strategies into practice, EACH:

  • organises major international conferences on health care communication research and teaching to bring together the community of healthcare researchers, educators and practitioners
  • provides workshops, courses and meetings on specific research and teaching components of healthcare communication for teachers and researchers
  • develops and supports active networks of teachers and researchers through communication at meetings, via the internet, using web-based conferences, web-based solutions and social media
  • provides a dedicated website to raise awareness and share related resources on teaching and research with the wider community of healthcare practitioners, researchers, teachers and patients
  • collaborates with existing networks and associations, with similar purposes
  • is affiliated with a scientific journal, Patient Education and Counselling, to disseminate results of research on health care communication
  • provides grants for researchers and teachers in the world without established health care communication research or teaching programmes to attend courses
  • provides grants for young researchers to attend workshops and develop networks
  • carries out site visits to countries without established health care communication research and teaching programmes to establish networks, and train teachers and researchers
  • promotes best practice in health care communication to other local and national organisations

Affiliation with Patient Education and Counseling (PEC)

EACH is proud to be associated with the scientific journal Patient Education and Counseling. The 2012 impact factor of the journal has increased to 2.372 (Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary ranking: 4 (Q1)). PEC is now definitely the major dedicated healthcare communication research journal.

American Academy on Communication in Healthcare: sister organisation of EACH

The Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) is the professional home for all those who are committed to improving communication and relationships in healthcare.  Its vision is to create a healthcare system where all patients, healthcare professionals, trainees, and researchers feel valued, are treated equitably with respect, compassion, understanding, and are actively engaged in healthcare processes and decisions. In odd numbered years, alternating with EACH, ACH hosts the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare.

National Voices: professional member

EACH is delighted to have become a professional member of National Voices. National Voices is the coalition of health and social care charities in England and, as the national umbrella group, have done tremendous work in promoting person centred coordinated healthcare in the NHS.

Position statement on transparency

EACH believes that transparency of a charitable specialized network lies primarily

  • in its mission and values;
  • in the legitimacy of its membership base;
  • in its governance practices;
  • its internal and public policy practices.

The transparency of a charitable specialized network also lies in:

  • the transparency of its financial information;
  • the transparency of its financial relationships with funding sources, both public and private;
  • the internal and external financial control by independent audits;
  • the transparency of its financial relationships with commercial companies;
  • the prevention of potential conflicts of interest, both public and private.

In all of its activities EACH respects and promotes the fundamental value of transparency, by following the principles of legitimacy, credibility, independence, responsibility, and accountability.

EACH sources of funding

The general sources of funding for the charity’s core activities and specific projects come from a mixture of membership fees, conferences and courses, a guaranteed royalty from our publication partner, Elsevier, and charitable donations.

EACH has an agreed policy not to accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry for any of its activities, including meetings and conferences. This is to prevent any potential conflict of interest.

Core funding

  • Membership fees
  • Conferences and courses
  • Charitable donation
  • Guaranteed royalty from publication partner

Specific project funding

Funding received for specific projects:

  • a highly appreciated charitable donation from Julius and Regine Steffens specifically funded the junior investigators’ summer school programme until 2013
  • a highly appreciated charitable donation from Daniel Vasella was donated on 21 January 2011, and was offered for funding teaching activities. This fund is organised by the tEACH committee

Contribution in kind

It has to be highlighted that the main source of sustainment of EACH is its members themselves: experts from the different associated organisations even if not directly reimbursed by EACH give their direct support to the activities of EACH participating in the meetings, seminars, workshops according to the yearly work programme, making their professional skills available for the finalisation of the outputs and deliverables and for the implementation of training courses, site visits, networking with other organisations and support to countries which have at the moment rudimentary programmes in communication skills teaching for health professionals.

For the financial year 2014, the detailed sources of funding were:

  1. Membership fees: € 32,539
  2. Donation from publication partner Elsevier: € 15,000