Healthcare team member assisting female patient Healthcare team member assisting female patient
Welcome to
REAL Connections

A practical, evidence-based communication framework developed to drive meaningful patient engagement along the cancer care continuum.

Our Program

Helping Empower Patients To Become More Active Participants In Their Cancer Care.

The REAL Connections program provides practical, evidence-based tools for care teams and patients with cancer.

Evidence-based tips and strategies to help proactively identify and address patient needs
Simple, self-guided tools that can be leveraged between visits to help engage and empower patients

The REAL Connections program focuses on 3 main components:

Optimizing Education

Aims to optimize current education efforts through improved understanding of patient needs and repetition across the cancer journey.


  • Care team guides with tips to help deliver impactful patient education
  • Patient-facing question prompt list to guide questions across the cancer journey

Supporting Patient Goals

Helps care teams better appreciate and address patient concerns, understanding that the patient’s goals may change over time.


  • Care team guides to help elicit and support patient goals
  • Patient goal worksheet to help patients think through and share what is most important to them

Shared Expectations

Patients expect care teams to provide proactive support, while care teams expect patients to communicate their needs. Articulating expectations can help bridge this communication gap.


  • Care team guides with tips to help elicit effective communication from patients
  • Patient support sheet to remind patients when and how to reach out to the care team
Our Objective

To facilitate effective patient engagement in cancer care.

Effective communication can help empower patients to become more active participants in their cancer care.1

Patients may forget 40-80% of information immediately, and nearly half of the retained information may be incorrect.2

Good interpersonal skills are not a substitute for strong healthcare communication skills.1

Changing technology combined with clinician time constraints may have the potential to negatively impact patient communication.3


The REAL Connections program helps to make evidence-based communication possible in today’s cancer setting. Highlights include:

Flexible Format: Use only what you need

Workflow Compatible: Integrate into existing workflows

Focused Solutions: Core questions for patient engagement

Proactive Patient Engagement: Patient-facing support tools

For more information on the REAL Connections program, please inquire via e-mail:


You can begin using REAL Connections immediately. Simply download the REAL Connections Program Guide with tools and resources to get started.


  1. Gilligan T, Coyle N, Frankel RM, et al. Patient-clinician Communication: American Society of Clinical Oncology Consensus Guideline. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(31):3618-3632.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Health literacy universal precautions toolkit. 2nd ed. Use the teach-back method: Tool #5. Accessed March 18, 2022.
  3. Licqurish SM, Cook OY, Pattuwage LP, et al. Tools to facilitate communication during physician-patient consultations in cancer care: An overview of systematic reviews. CA Cancer J Clin. 2019;69:497-520.