AIDET: Aiming for Quality Service

Updated | Published
by Judy Campbell Judy Campbell (New)

Specializes in Case Management. Has 16 years experience.

AIDET, an acronym that stands for “acknowledge, introduce, duration, explanation, and thank" is an important communication tool for healthcare professionals to use with patients that decreases patient anxiety, increases patient compliance, and improves clinical outcomes. As we return to face-to-face office visits and appointments, this article provides a review of this tool to assist healthcare providers to build trust and connections with patients.

How do you achieve patient satisfaction?

AIDET: Aiming for Quality Service

As society recovers from the pandemic and more face-to-face interactions begin to resume, rebuilding trust and meaningful connections with patients will require healthcare staff to be more mindful and practice patient communication. Throughout the pandemic, many patients preferred to stay home, becoming more acquainted with telehealth medicine. Although telehealth medicine may be here to stay, there are still limitations that need to be addressed to ensure positive patient outcomes. Patients still need to show up for labs to be drawn, diagnostic testing and procedures, and of course, life-threatening emergencies cannot be treated via telephone or computer. In healthcare, the overall experience rests on the quality of care and the quality of service that we provide to our patients. The AIDET tool, which is encouraged during face-to-face or phone encounters, continues to enhance communication and shows respect for patients

AIDET is a communication model that we should all practice every day during our interactions with our patients. The acronym AIDET (acknowledge, introduce, duration, explanation, thank you) is an evidence-based communication model created by the Studer Group, a healthcare consulting group, illustrating steps that healthcare professionals should take when speaking with patients or families. Some of the benefits of incorporating AIDET include reducing patient and staff anxiety, being proactive in service recovery, improving compliance with treatment plans, improving member perception, and elevating patient satisfaction. Using the AIDET model keeps patients engaged and allows them to have an active role in their care management and experience.

The “A” and “I” focuses on showing courtesy and respect to people

Acknowledge

Greeting a person by name, when possible, and anyone who is with the patient, can immediately set a good tone for the encounter. By making eye contact and smiling, we can create the impression that we are happy to see them and eager to help. If the interaction is over the phone, smiling during the conversation can be heard through a cheerful, lively tone.

“Good morning Mrs. Smith. Nice to see you again, Mr. Smith.”

Introduce

Letting the patient know who you are will assist in establishing trust and confidence. During your introduction, include your role, profession, or title. Also, manage up any co-workers, department, or other providers so patients feel better during transitions and are reassured that there is coordination of care and teamwork.

“My name is Judy, and I am happy to help you check in for your appointment with Dr. Ross at 9:00. Dr. Ross is going to take great care of you.”

The “D” and “E” focuses on keeping people informed

Duration

Giving patients an accurate and precise timeline for their visit or procedure that day is ideal; however, it is often difficult to do so. The duration may be best communicated in time increments. This gives patients an estimate of how long they will have to wait for their visit or treatment, and they are aware of what is happening next. If there is a delay, provide an update and explain when they should expect further follow-up. Service recovery may need to be considered if the dissatisfaction is unavoidable.

“Dr. Ross may need to tend to an emergency. It may be 30 minutes before he can see you. Are you able to wait or would you like to reschedule this appointment?”

Explanation

Explaining tasks, processes, and procedures as they are happening is vital in building trust and confidence. Providing explanations in patient-friendly language and using keywords can ensure they understand what is happening. During this process, it is important to also listen to their questions and address their concerns.

“Dr. Ross will be ready to see you in a few minutes. I will be leading you to the exam room, where I will also take your vital signs. What questions do you have for me?”

Thank

It is important to thank patients for the opportunity to serve them. Thanking the patient for choosing your hospital, clinic, or practice will show that they are valued patrons. Also thank their companions for being supportive during the visit.

“Thank you for your patience and for letting me help you today. If you have any questions while you are waiting for the doctor, let me know."

Communication tools like AIDET help to facilitate a culture of genuine, quality care. It becomes more of a set of behaviors that inspire providers to show concern for patients by demonstrating empathy, reducing patient anxiety, and building honest relationships. This is then linked to better clinical results and patient outcomes.

References

AIDET Patient Communication

I have been a registered nurse since 2008 and have worked across the continuum. I have been most involved with care coordination and case management. I am a certified case manager and also developed an agency that provides oversight to elderly patients that reside in Adult Residential Care Homes (ARCH) in the community. I rekindled my love for writing during graduate school and am working on also being a freelance writer.

3 Articles   4 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Comment(s)

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 669 Posts

Using AIDET works with probably 90% of patients, but there are that 10% who will never be happy. Duration is a tricky one. Telling a patient "the doctor will see you in a few minutes", then the Dr. takes his/her own sweet time to enter the exam room leads to an angry patient.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,968 Posts

Ugh. The mere mention of the Studer Group raised my hackles in a big way. They were the people that turned my hospital into a Hilton. We were such a nice little country hospital before they came in as advisors; after management embraced their concepts, we became automatons with inane scripts and unreasonable workloads. Thankfully I was finding my way out of acute care around this time; I knew how to talk to and empathize with my patients, and I resented the artificial “is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time” because I often didn’t have it. Nope, what I had was patients circling the drain, crawling out of bed, falling in the bathroom, and needing pain medication. At least in LTC, management didn’t expect us to walk around acting like Stepford wives!