What is RIICH?

Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare in the Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong (HKU RIICH) is an interdisciplinary international collaboration, established with the aim to transform healthcare practices and healthcare education through evidence-based translational research.

Effective communication is a vital component of all aspects of healthcare, from health prevention and health maintenance to illness, treatment and recovery. The critical importance of effective health communication applies to all types of health care settings: primary care and hospital contexts; pediatric and aged care contexts; acute illnesses and chronic diseases. Communication is integral to patient safety and well-being. The link between ineffective communication, communication breakdowns and patient dissatisfaction, negative patient outcomes and critical incidents is well-established in the research literature. Ineffective communication and communication breakdowns impact patient safety, lead to mismanaged care, unmet patient expectations, and in some cases patient death, and incur huge losses to healthcare systems (see CRICO reports). Miscommunication begets misinformation. 

RIICH draws on innovative inter-professional collaboration between internationally recognized experts from different disciplinary fields, including:

  • linguistics and health communication studies

  • social sciences

  • medicine, nursing and other allied healthcare fields

  • medical education

  • inter-professional training and practice

  • health policy and administration

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