Communication breakdowns can occur at any point on the care continuum, in any type of healthcare facility and between any of the “players” involved in a patient's care.
Posted in Risk Management on Wednesday, June 14, 2017
It is well-known that poor communication can result in medical errors, cause patient injuries and disrupt the continuity of care—all of which can lead to malpractice claims. Communication breakdowns can occur at any point on the care continuum, in any type of healthcare facility and between any of the “players” involved in a patient’s care.
A Breakdown Can Affect Patient Safety
Studies show communication breakdowns that affect patient safety and quality of care are more likely to occur at transition points in a patient’s care. Patients and providers comment that communication problems tend to intensify when there are more providers and care settings involved in a patient’s care, and there is an increase in the complexity and variety of systems in use.
Tips to Use
Here are a few tips to avoid communication breakdown between providers:
- Document recommended referrals
- Document discussions if patient refuses referrals
- Assure patient understands why referral is needed
- Consistently document telephone calls and any advice/instructions provided
- Standardize your handoff processes
Like firefighters, put out any office “fires” related to lack of communication by using the STICC method to ensure optimal communication.
Situation: Here’s what we face
Task: Here’s what we should do
Intent: Here’s why
Concern: Here’s what we should keep an eye on
Calibrate: Now talk to me. Tell me if you don’t understand, can’t do it, or see something I don’t.
For more information on this topic and other related communication issues contact risk management.