Webinar: Supporting Patients with Vulnerable Communication in Healthcare Settings

Presenter: Sarah W. Blackstone Ph.D., CCC-SP

Date: June 2, 2017


Current research documents causal relationships between poor patient-provider communication and poor patient outcomes, medical errors, and increased healthcare utilization. In addition, there is ample evidence to demonstrate that effective patient-provider communication increases the likelihood that a patient’s problems are diagnosed correctly, patients understand and adhere to recommended treatment regimens, and patients and their families are satisfied with the care they receive. Effective communication between patients and providers is increasingly being viewed as an essential component of quality healthcare and patient safety, as well as the basic right of every patient. This webinar will discuss and illustrate the role that communication tools, technologies and strategies can play in addressing patient-provider communication issues across healthcare settings. We will consider ways in which members of the professional community can support effective communication with vulnerable patients using case illustrations.


Sarah W. Blackstone Ph.D., CCC-SP is President, Augmentative Communication Inc. Previous employment: Chief, Speech Language pathology at Kennedy Institute/Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical School; Project Director, American Speech-Language Hearing Association; AAC consultant; Partner, AAC-RERC. She is widely published and is co-editor of Patient Provider Communication: Roles for Speech-Language Pathologists (2015). Sarah is a former President and Fellow of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) and founder of USSAAC. She currently serves on the NIH Advisory Council for National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders and Board of Directors of The Bridge School, Central Coast Children’s Foundation, USSAAC, and Community Response Volunteers of the Monterey Peninsula.