About

We believe that strong physician-patient relationships based upon mutual trust, respect and high quality, patient-centered communications are essential to fixing much of what is wrong with health care today.

Engage Your Patients Logo big_smushedPatient Engagement Solutions is a consultancy specializing in  providing patient communication and engagement skills assessments, training and consulting solutions to the health care industry.  

Engage Your Patients TM , our core solution set, provides physicians the tools and training to measurably improve their  patient communication and patient engagement skills and abilities … along with their patient outcomes, visit productivity and patient experiences.

Mind the Gap Academy Logo SmushedMind the Gap Academy TM is a thought leadership advisory group specializing in the field of physician-patient communications, patient engagement and patient-centered care.  

Our Philosophy

We believe that strong physician-patient relations built upon high quality, patient-centered communications are essential to delivery of high value health care.  We also believe that strong patient-centered communications are the foundation for meaningful patient engagement, superior patient outcomes and great patient (and provider) experiences.

Our mission is to further our beliefs by:

  • Curating and sharing the evidence pertaining to patient-centered communication and patient engagement
  • Conducting research
  • Stimulating discussion & ideas
  • Providing evidence-based, patient-centered training & communication solutions

Mind the Gap Blog, begun in 2009 by Stephen Wilkins, explores 40 years of published research chronicling the evolution of the physician-patient relationship and the essential role of that humanism, interpersonal dynamics and physician-patient communications plays in the delivery of high quality, high value care.

Stephen Wilkins, MPH, Founder & Principal, Mind the Gap Academy

Stephen_Wilkins_small grey_smushedSteve has over 25+ years of professional experience, 12 years in senior marketing and business development roles in hospitals.  The balance of his experience has been on the consulting side where he has provided strategic  planning, research, marketing and product development services to hospitals, health plans and product vendors.

He earned a Bachelors Degree and Masters in Public Health, Medical Care Organization, from the University of Michigan.  His masters thesis explored the application of The Health Belief Model in promoting appropriate use of community emergency medical services.

Physician-Patient Communications – A Passion Born Out Of Necessity

Wilkins Has ObservedSteve’s interest in physician-patient communications was piqued in late 2003 when his wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.   While both he and his wife had been in health care for years,  neither of them was prepared for how hard it would be to navigate our way through the health care system.  Since his wife’s diagnosis, Steve has gone with his wife to every one of her doctor’s appointments (except for GYN).  To date he has directly observed the role and communication dynamics of over 500 exam room and hospital physician-patient conversations between physicians and patients.

Even now some 12 years later, he continues to note how difficult it is for clinicians to effectively communicate with patients … and the impact poor communications has on patients and their families.  Misdiagnosis, delayed and overlooked test results, ignored patient input and requests, lack of physician-patient consensus and patient hand off issues were but a few of the communication challenges they have faced over the years.

Subsequent to discovering the hundreds of published studies conduct over the last 30 years on the subject, Steve discovered several surprising things

1) There was consensus in the research literature as to the sub-par quality of physician-patient communications in exam rooms across the U.S.. 

2) Patient-centered communication “best practices” existed and had been agreed upon by a national consensus group.

3) He also learned that practical solutions for measurably improving physician-patient communications were available and that these solutions were shown to improve patient outcomes, service use and cost, quality, safety and patient experiences.

These findings, plus his own personal and professional experiences, are what motivates Steve Wilkins and his company Mind the Gap Academy today.