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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The Center for Patient Safety believes that collaboration and sharing are the best ways to drive improvement. We strive to provide the right solutions and resources to improve healthcare safety and quality.