Importance of Communication in Healthcare

3778 Words Mar 5th, 2013 16 Pages
Promoting effective communication among healthcare professionals to improve patient safety and quality of care This guide was prepared as part of the Victorian Quality Council’s project on improving communication among healthcare professionals. July 2010

VQC – A guide to improving communication among healthcare professionals

Published by the Hospital and Health Service Performance Division, Victorian Government
Department of Health, Melbourne, Victoria.
July 2010
This booklet is available in pdf format and may be downloaded from the VQC website at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/quality council

© Copyright State of Victoria, Department of Health, 2010
This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in
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Supporting evidence from high quality intervention studies1, linking ineffective communication between health professionals and adverse patient consequences [10] is largely lacking, as are studies demonstrating that effective communication leads to improved patient outcomes (Level
III-3) [11].
There are numerous intervention studies indicating that the use of structured communication tools or other strategies in health care improves the structure and quality of information exchanged between healthcare professionals, and/or reduces patient harm. Generally, these studies are based on lower levels of evidence. For example,
 The World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist leads to reduced rates of inpatient complications and death (Level III-3) [12].
 The use of structured communication tools and briefings in the transfer of patients between health facilities results in improved access to necessary medications on arrival at the receiving health facility (Level IV) [3].
 The introduction of perioperative safety briefing before and after surgery resulted in zero wrong site surgeries (compared to three at baseline) and increased reporting of near misses by staff (Level IV) [13].
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