What Is “Ask, Tell, Ask”?

Connie Davis, RN, MN, ARNP; Co-Director of the Centre for Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Define each component of “Ask, Tell, Ask.”
  • Explain the purpose of asking permission to give information or advice to patients.

Description: Health care providers give health information to patients all the time. But how often do they ask patients what information they want to hear?

In this video, Connie Davis, Co-Director at the Centre for Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation​, explains how a simple technique known as “Ask, Tell, Ask” can help providers tailor their information or advice to what patients want to hear.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think asking patients for permission to share information is so valuable?
  2. What do you think is the benefit of asking patients what they thought or understood about the advice or information a provider has shared?
  3. In what types of situations do you think “Ask, Tell, Ask” can improve health and health care?
  4. Imagine you’re a primary care provider seeing a new patient. You’ve just identified several metabolic risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar) in your patient, and you think she could benefit from increasing her physical activity and quitting smoking. What would you ask before delivering this advice? What would you ask after giving the advice, to understand how she felt about your recommendations?
  5. Find a partner and role play using “Ask, Tell, Ask” in the scenario above.
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