Introduction to Trust and Communication in Healthcare: a webinar series to transform healthcare delivery

8 May 2024, 2:00 – 3:30 pm BST, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CEST, online

In healthcare, effective communication can shape the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals alike, build trust, and improve health outcomes and the overall quality of care. Consequences for patients navigating medical jargon, or health workers struggling to convey critical information, can be profound, affecting treatment, mental health and well-being, and even patient safety.

WHO/Europe, the Austrian National Public Health Institute—a WHO-Collaborating Center for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Healthcare— EACH: International Association for Communication in Healthcare, and the University of Iowa have joined forces to deliver a unique series of webinars to improve healthcare professionals’ communication skills with the goal of enhancing people’s trust in health services.

The new webinar series will examine the critical role of effective communication in building trust within healthcare settings, the pivotal role of patient-centred communication, the challenges healthcare professionals face in effectively communicating with each other and patients. This series also aims to inform future WHO guidance and recommendations on establishing national communication skills training (CST) programs in hospitals, drawing on insights and lessons from CST programs in various countries, such as Ireland, Denmark, Austria, and Australia.

The introductory webinar.

The first webinar, titled “Introduction to Trust and Communication in Healthcare,” will be held on 8 May 2:00 – 3:30 pm BST, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CEST, and provide a comprehensive overview of WHO/Europe’s focus on trust and the foundational role of effective communication in hospitals.Experts will delve into the importance of patient-centred communication and its importance in building trust. Participants will learn how this approach not only improves patient outcomes but also strengthens the patient-healthcare provider relationship. Experts will also discuss the vital role of transparent and empathetic communication in fostering trust, as well as navigating adverse situations, such as medical errors or unexpected outcomes, through effective communication. Participants will hear about the need for and advantages of establishing large-scale structured communication training programs and how these programs can enhance healthcare delivery and patient care. The session will also feature a case study illustrating the successful implementation of a mandatory Provider Communication Program across a hospital system, demonstrating practical applications of effective communication strategies.


  • Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Director the Division of Country Health Policies and Systems at the WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Marlene Sator, a Senior Health Expert at the Austrian Public Health Institute and WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Healthcare
  • Joao Breda, Head of the WHO Office for Quality of Care and Patient Safety in Athens
  • Marcy Rosenbaum, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa, past-president of EACH, and former Co-chair of tEACH
  • Theresa Brennan, Chief Medical Officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Professor of Internal Medicine

Health workforce:

Hospitals: RRethinking the future of hospitals in the WHO European Region

Quality of care:

Patient safety:

Date/Time 08 May 2024 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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