Ask a Follow Up Question
After information is shared, asking a follow-up question is a useful way to help the patients integrate that new information. It can also ensure that people have understood the new content as well as clarify any remaining questions or knowledge gaps.
When you want to encourage the patient to ask for information. It is far preferable to ask, “What questions do you have about ?” rather than, “Do you have any questions?”
Follow-up Questions to Integrate Information
"How would it be for you?"
"Knowing that, what do you think?"
“Has that ever happened to you before?”
“How did you manage it?”
“How would you manage that?”
“Have you experienced anything like that before?”
Teach back is a great verbal learning tool where people summarize and repeat back what they have just been told. This helps with the processing and integration of the new material and additionally allows an opportunity for review if a provider has been unclear in a certain area.
To make sure this does not come off as condescending, try taking full responsibility for the conversation by saying something like:
“I would like to be sure that I was as clear as I could be…”
“We have gone over quite a lot of information and I want to be sure I didn’t forget to tell you something important…”
“I don’t always explain things as clearly as I think I have…”