15 Patient Communication Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Patient Communication skills will be used.

In the healthcare industry, communication is key. From discussing treatment options with patients to coordinating care with other providers, clear and concise communication is essential to providing quality patient care.

When interviewing for a position in healthcare, expect to be asked questions about your communication style and how you handle difficult conversations. Your answers to these questions will give the interviewer insight into your ability to communicate effectively with patients and other members of the healthcare team.

To help you prepare for your next healthcare interview, we’ve compiled a list of sample questions and responses related to patient communication.

Common Patient Communication Interview Questions

1. What is Patient Communication?

This question is a great way to show your understanding of the role and how it relates to patients. You can define patient communication, explain why it’s important and give an example of how you’ve used this skill in your previous roles.

Example: “Patient communication is when I speak with patients about their health care needs and concerns. It’s my job to make sure they understand what we’re doing for them and why. For instance, at my last hospital, I had a patient who was nervous about getting surgery. I talked to her about the procedure and answered all of her questions so she felt more comfortable. She ended up having a successful operation.”

2. Can you explain the difference between patient engagement and communication?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the healthcare industry and how it operates. It also allows you to show that you understand what’s important when working with patients. When answering this question, try to explain the difference between these two concepts in simple terms so the interviewer can better understand them as well.

Example: “Patient engagement is about building relationships with patients. This means being friendly and showing empathy toward their needs and concerns. Communication, on the other hand, is all about listening to patients and asking questions to make sure I fully understand their issues. These are both very important skills for any medical professional to have.”

3. What are some ways to improve healthcare delivery through better patient communications?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the healthcare industry and how you can improve it. You can answer this question by providing examples of ways you have improved patient communications in the past, or you can provide a list of ideas for improving communication between patients and their doctors.

Example: “I believe that one way to improve healthcare delivery through better patient communications is by encouraging patients to ask questions about their treatment plans. I once had a patient who was nervous about her upcoming surgery because she didn’t understand what would happen during the procedure. She asked me if we could meet so she could get more information about the surgery and feel more comfortable with the process. We met before her surgery, and she felt much more confident going into the procedure.”

4. How can patients access their health records online these days?

This question is a great way to assess your knowledge of the current technology available for patients. It also shows how you can help them navigate through their health records and understand what they need to know about their treatment plan.

Example: “Patients have several options when it comes to accessing their medical information online. They can use an app on their phone, or they can go to their doctor’s website and log in with their username and password. There are also third-party websites that allow patients to access their medical records, such as MyChart and HealthVault. These sites provide patients with secure accounts where they can view their test results, communicate with their doctors and more.”

5. Are there any concerns associated with allowing patients access to their health records online?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to think critically and apply critical thinking skills. It’s important to be honest in your response, as you may be asked to explain the reasoning behind your answer.

Example: “I believe that patients should have access to their health records online because it allows them to take control of their own care. However, I also understand there are some concerns with this practice. For example, if a patient has poor literacy or computer skills, they might not be able to read or interpret their medical information. Additionally, if a patient shares their information with someone else, such as a family member, that person could make decisions about the patient’s treatment without consulting the patient.”

6. How do providers get reimbursed by insurance companies for providing patient-facing portals?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the healthcare industry and how it works. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re aware of current trends in patient communication.

Example: “The reimbursement process for providers who offer patient-facing portals can be quite complex, but there are some ways to make it easier. For example, I know one provider who offers patients access to their medical records through a secure portal. The provider then sends a bill to the insurance company for each time a patient logs into their account. This helps streamline the billing process and makes it more efficient.”

7. How can we use technology to make patients more engaged in their care?

Technology is a major part of healthcare, and many facilities are looking for ways to use it to improve patient care. Your answer should show that you understand the role technology plays in healthcare and how you can use it to benefit patients.

Example: “I think technology is an excellent way to engage with patients and help them feel more comfortable during their appointments. For example, I worked at a hospital where we used iPads to take medical histories from patients. This allowed us to collect information while they were sitting comfortably in a chair rather than having to stand or sit on an exam table. It also made it easier for them to provide answers because they could simply type their responses into the iPad instead of writing them down.”

8. Do you think patients should have a say in treatment decisions? Why or why not?

This question can help an interviewer determine your thoughts on patient autonomy and how you might interact with patients who have strong opinions about their treatment. When answering, it can be helpful to provide a specific example of a time when you helped a patient understand the reasoning behind a medical decision.

Example: “I think that patients should always have a say in their own healthcare decisions. I’ve had many experiences where patients were confused or unsure about why they needed certain treatments, so I would explain the reasons for each procedure as well as what to expect during recovery. This usually helps them feel more comfortable with the process and makes them more likely to follow through with the treatment plan.”

9. Can you give me an example of when it might be important for a provider to communicate information about prognosis to a patient?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to communicate with patients about serious medical conditions. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide a specific example of when you had to deliver bad news to a patient and how you did so effectively.

Example: “When I was working in the emergency room, I once treated a patient who came in after being involved in a car accident. The patient’s injuries were severe, and they required surgery. After performing the operation, I spoke with the patient’s family members to let them know that their loved one would not recover from their injuries. I explained everything we did to try to save their life and assured them that we did everything we could.”

10. Can you give me an example of when it might be important for a provider to communicate information about medication management to a patient?

This question can help the interviewer assess your ability to communicate information about medications and other treatments with patients. Use examples from your experience where you helped a patient understand their medication schedule or how they should take their medicine.

Example: “When I first meet a new patient, I always ask them what medications they’re currently taking. If there are any potential interactions between their current medications and our treatment plan, I make sure that they know this so we can discuss alternative options for managing their symptoms. For example, when I worked at my previous practice, one of my patients was taking an antidepressant but wanted to stop taking it during her pregnancy. I explained that she would need to continue taking the antidepressant throughout her pregnancy because stopping could cause withdrawal symptoms in both herself and her baby.”

11. What are some best practices that providers can follow to improve the quality of patient communications?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of best practices in patient communication. They want to know that you understand the importance of communicating effectively with patients and how to do so. In your answer, explain what steps providers can take to improve their communication skills with patients.

Example: “I think it’s important for healthcare professionals to be honest and transparent when communicating with patients. Patients should always feel like they have access to information about their care and treatment options. Providers should also make sure to communicate clearly and concisely with patients. This means using plain language and avoiding jargon or medical terminology where possible.”

12. What are some examples of how patient privacy laws affect patient communication?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you apply your knowledge of privacy laws in the workplace. Use examples from your previous experience that show how you respect patient privacy and maintain confidentiality.

Example: “In my last position, I had a patient who was very concerned about their medical records being shared with other patients. When they came into the office for an appointment, I explained our policy on sharing information with other patients. If another patient requested information about them, I would only share basic demographic information like age, gender and address. I also told them that we don’t give out any specific health information unless it’s required by law.”

13. What are some benefits of using telemedicine tools like video conferencing software to communicate with patients?

Telemedicine is a growing field, and many healthcare facilities are implementing telemedicine tools to improve patient care. Interviewers may ask this question to see if you understand the benefits of using these types of communication methods. In your answer, try to explain how these tools can benefit patients and healthcare providers alike.

Example: “I think that video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom is an excellent way for doctors to communicate with their patients because it allows them to have more personal interactions with their patients. Patients feel more comfortable talking about sensitive issues when they know they’re communicating directly with their doctor rather than through a nurse or other intermediary. This also helps doctors build stronger relationships with their patients, which can lead to better outcomes.”

14. What are some limitations of using telemedicine tools like video conferencing software to communicate with patients?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to think critically and apply critical thinking skills. You can use this question as a way to demonstrate that you are able to identify problems, analyze them and come up with solutions.

Example: “One of the biggest limitations of using telemedicine tools like video conferencing software is that it’s not always possible to see patients’ nonverbal cues. This means that I may miss important information about their health or how they’re feeling because I’m only hearing what they say. Another limitation is that some patients may be uncomfortable communicating via video conferencing software. If I notice that a patient seems nervous or anxious during our session, I will try to make sure we have another meeting in person so they feel more comfortable.”

15. What are some ways that providers can create a safe environment where patients feel free to discuss sensitive topics like mental illness, STDs, abuse, etc.?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to create a safe environment for patients. They want to know that you can help their organization maintain high standards of patient care and confidentiality. In your answer, explain how you would approach these situations with your patients.

Example: “I believe it’s important for providers to be open and honest with their patients about any sensitive topics they might discuss during appointments. I always make sure to give my patients the opportunity to speak freely without feeling judged or uncomfortable. If someone is experiencing mental illness, abuse or an STD, I try to listen carefully and provide them with resources and referrals if needed.”


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