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Article Released Wed-16th-March-2011 16:19 GMT
Contact: Regina Yu Institution: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
 International Experts Gather at PolyU to Investigate Unsatisfactory Communication between Doctors and Patients

Leading international experts on healthcare communication are meeting in Hong Kong to examine ways of improving communication between doctors and patients, particularly in hospitals.

Around the world unsatisfactory healthcare communication frequently leads to patient misdiagnosis, wrong treatment and even death. Here in Hong Kong, PolyU is collaborating with the Tuen Mun Hospital on a pioneering project to improve communications within the settings of the Accident and Emergency Department.

International guests at the Symposium include Professor Elizabeth Rider from Harvard University, Professor Suzanne Kurtz from Washington State University, Professor William Branch from Emory University in the US, Professor Eleanor Flynn from the University of Melbourne, and Professor Srikant Sarangi from Cardiff University.

They will be joined by Dr Angela Chan and Professor Samantha Pang from PolyU and Dr Ho Ming-Jung from National Taiwan University of Medicine.

Professor Diana Slade and Professor Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen from the Department of English at Hong Kong Polytechnic University are convening the 1st International Symposium and Roundtable on Healthcare Communication in Hong Kong.

Professor Diana Slade is also leading the project "Emergency Communication: Improving the quality and safety of patient care through effective communication" supported by the Tuen Mun Hospital. This two-year study will describe and analyse the communication encounters between Drs and nurses and patients in the Accident & Emergency Department in order to identify the features of both the successful and unsuccessful encounters.

"We hope that out of the Symposium and Roundtable will come potent ideas to improve communication and therefore patient outcomes," Professor Slade said.

On the Hong Kong side, many hospital executives and senior medical practitioners will be joining the discussion. They include Dr Robert Stevenson, Chief of Service Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital; Dr Simon Tang, Chief of Service, Accident and Emergency Department, New Territories West Cluster; and Dr Tang Kam Shing, Deputy Service Director, Quality & Safety Division New Territories West Cluster.

Professor Timothy Tong, PolyU President, and Professor Huang Chu-ren, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities will open the Symposium, on Tuesday morning, 15 March.


Website for the Symposium and Roundtable

Press Contacts:

Professor Diana Slade
Department of English

Tel: (852) 2766 5602
Email: egdiana(at)

Dr Marvin Lam
Department of English

Tel: (852) 2766 7509
Email: egmarvin(at)

Associated links

Keywords associated to this article: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HKPolyU, PolyU, hospitals, doctors, patients
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