Being a Climate Leader in your Institution

How to Talk to Patients

Your patient may have questions about climate change, and it is our responsibility to provide information that is both scientifically accurate and helpful to the patient

 

Reasons to Discuss Climate Change With your Patients

  • Studies have demonstrated that up to 80% of patients believe that doctors should discuss climate change with their patients

  • These same studies demonstrated that only 4% of patient encounters currently include discussions about climate change

Barriers to communication

  • Many providers lack knowledge about climate change

  • There is currently no established standard for how to discuss climate change with patients

  • Time constraints

  • Relevance to individual human health is not always immediately obvious

Effective Communication Strategies

  • Incorporate the topic of climate change into routine health maintenance topics such as applying sunscreen, asthma, and allergies

  • Focus on actions the patient can take to protect themselves over creating a sense of fear about climate change

  • Keep politics out of the discussion

  • Have educational materials readily available for patients

  • Give advice that pertains to the specific patient and is actionable

Office Greening

Implementing sustainable practices in your office can lead to decreased costs

 

A few tips for a greener and better office:

  • Swap light-bulbs to LED lights

  • Enable sleep mode for devices that are not in use

  • Reduce waste & decrease usage of disposable products

    • Use re-usable mugs, glassware, etc.

  • Include appropriate signage for recycling

  • Set printers to print on both sides of paper

  • Go paperless when possible

  • Set up a bike rack for employees

  • Place recycling bins in a prominent place

  • Make sure cleaning products are eco friendly

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For more tips and resources, visit MyGreenDoctor.org to optimize your office savings and sustainability

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health

PSR | Physicians for Social Responsibility

Practice Greenhealth

Check out information on OR greening and more to create a more sustainable health system

ANHE | Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment

A resource for nurses to learn more about environmental health communication and advocacy

ACP | American College of Physicians 

This link will navigate you to the ACP Climate Change Toolkit

AAFP | American Academy of Family Physicians

If you are a member of the AAFP, this link will navigate you to the member interest group page, where you can find and join the Climate Change and Environmental Health Interest Group

 

More Ways to Get Involved

Check out these groups and organizations to learn more