I just read an article in the Journal of Patient Experience with this statistic in it:
"Miscommunication between physicians and patients is the most common cause of medical errors and is responsible for more than 60 percent of sentinel events that lead to increased mortality or injury among hospital patients."
Think about that. More than half of errors are caused by two people trying to communicate but failing to do so. And, I'm sure you've been there. I know I have. The doctor says to do something, in a regular tone of voice, and I'm not sure if it's a suggestion or an imperative statement. Or the doctor says "make sure to..." and I'm so overwhelmed by trying to remember it that I get confused. If you aren't in the habit of repeating it or writing it down, you may very well forget it.
The journal article was about AIDET training (created by the Studer Group) for physicians. It seems simple but patients know that many of these steps are missed.
A: Acknowledge (address each person in the room)
I: Introduce yourself (and your role and your specialty)
D: Duration (how long will you be in the room, is there a procedure happening?)
E: Explanation (what's the treatment? what's the diagnosis?)
T: Thank You (appreciation for their time, questions, etc.)
In a hospital environment, these common courtesies can easily be overlooked, because everyone is in a rush. But it matters. It matters to patients, and it may prevent medical errors and miscommunication. That seems like a great reason to take the time to do it.