Nursing

Better staff communication is key to patient safety

Nurse Leader Insider, March 24, 2016

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Miscommunication happens all the time in the workplace; the problem is that when it happens in hospitals, it can hurt someone. A new study has found that a quarter of hospital readmissions could have been prevented by better communication. Issues in the study varied, from unexplained care goals and patient confusion about follow-up care, but some were caused by poor communication between healthcare professionals, such as failure to provide details to the outpatient professionals and premature patient discharge. Greater communication between departments and teams can be crucial to patient outcomes.

One practice healthcare teams could use to encourage communication is the daily huddle, and small anecdotal evidence and small studies suggest that the huddle can greatly improve patient safety. Hospitals are implementing safety huddles throughout their staff and seeing beneficial results. When it comes to patient safety, frontline staff sometimes know better than hospital leadership, so hearing from your staff regularly will improve the patient experience. Additionally, leaders that talk with their staff in this fashion will keep their nurses engaged and create a culture of communication that they will bring to the rest of the staff. It only takes a few minutes a day, and better communication can save a patient’s life.



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