The Chronic Problem of Communication

March 22, 2016    |   By: Calevir

I saw this article come across my morning email news and was immediately drawn in as communication is not just a problem in hospitals, but in every healthcare environment. Having traveled throughout the United States in my nursing career and delved into a variety of nursing fields, I can honestly say that more than once in every position I’ve held, an issue involving patient safety has cropped up, mainly due to a failure to communicate.

The word “communication” originates from the verb “communicare” which means to share.  This is so true when you think about what you should be doing when as a healthcare professional you are communicating with another healthcare professional.  You are “sharing” information.  But even more, while the word itself has a variety of technical definitions, the definition I like best is “the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.” I think because this definition puts an emphasis on “successful”.  One healthcare professional can share information with another, but it’s that double-checking to confirm that information or concerns were heard and successfully conveyed that healthcare needs to improve.

Take a few moments today and review your handoff processes within your organization.  Whether it’s when a patient leaves your area to go to another area or even when an employee just leaves for lunch or a break.  What is the process?  How do you share information?  And most importantly, are you keeping the patient and patient’s safety as a top priority. Read article.

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