The first 5 Minutes ™ Health Equity Initiative is launched in Bexar County

Aimed at improving patient care, the American College of Thoracic Physicians (CHEST) launched First 5 Minutes ™, a participatory healthcare initiative, on June 18 in Bexar County, Texas.

The first 5 minutes ™ focus on:

Up to 24 practicing clinicians based in Texas will participate in this personal pilot training program at the University of Texas Health Center.

The First 5 Minutes гра program grew from a listening tour in five cities in the fall of 2020. CHEST hosted virtual calls in areas of the United States, including Bexar County, where there were disproportionately high incidents and deaths from COVID-19. The aim of the patient-centered tour was to gain insight and identify solutions to tackle health inequalities among marginalized communities.

What we heard was a huge lack of access to health care, unfair treatment and a discouragingly low level of trust between patients and their healthcare teams. There are no quick fixes for these deep-seated problems. However, doing nothing to change this situation and improve patient care is not an option. The First 5 Minutes program is a way for us to influence the change on a person-to-person level. “

Robert Musacchio, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Obstetricians

Health inequalities continue to widen as 28 million people in the United States live without health care and 13.4 million do not have Internet access to health resources.1 Small but deliberate changes in patient-clinician interactions can be significant. improve patient care and patient experience, leading to better results.

The barriers to trust expressed by participating patients during the listening tour relate to:

  • Neglect is perceived among doctors

  • Lack of understanding and / or evaluation of the social determinants of health

  • Excessive use of high-tech / medical terminology, which can be frightening for patients

  • Common cultural and philosophical differences that may contribute to implicit biases

The interactive learning model of First 5 Minutes ™, led by relationship-oriented communication trainers, aims to be a national personal and e-learning program. To improve the participant’s empathic listening, confidence-building communication skills are part of the core curriculum, which includes:

  • Understanding someone’s implicit bias and its impact on patient care through small group discussion and activities

  • The relationship-focused interview and how it positively correlates with patient and clinician outcomes

  • Exercises for role-playing games, demonstrating how to establish a connection

To strengthen the patient-clinician relationship and ultimately the patient experience, the First 5 Minutes ™ program will provide physicians with the tools they need to build trust and connect with their patients, even with time constraints.

“Every 15 minutes, a medical professional is expected to see another patient. It can be a challenge to show compassion and care in this short window. However, it is essential, “said Stephanie Levine, MD, former president of the American College of Thoracic Physicians, who serves on the program’s steering committee. “The actions and words of the clinician have a huge impact on patient care. I am proud to study with my colleagues in Texas. Together, we can serve as an example of how to improve the way we care for our patients, to ensure that each patient feels welcome, respected and involved in the decision-making process. “


American College of Obstetricians

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