Effective communication is a staple of our healthcare culture. Working with patients, peers, and interprofessional teams requires that nurses manage information and evidence toward influencing safe and positive patient outcomes.
Please address the following:
Describe caring attributes of the culture where you currently practice.
Which attributes stand out as having significant influence on patients, nurses, and other healthcare professionals?
How do you see effective communication relating to patient outcomes in this setting?
What is the evidence for this?
SMALL RELPLY TO THIS STUDENTCarol NelsonCarol NelsonMondaySep 6 at 5:09amManage Discussion EntryProfessor and Class,
I currently practice in long-term care and acute rehabilitation setting. The culture in this setting is imperatively caring. From preadmission to post-discharge, the patients and their loved ones are cared for by individual care planning. The patient’s medical records and social history are reviewed to gather data on the resident’s clinical condition and psychosocial profile. On admission, the resident and any significant others of their choosing are important collaborators with the clinical team in arriving at the best interventions to meet all their needs. The resident is introduced to the multidisciplinary team by the manager of the floor then visited by all members of the team within two days to ensure the patient is adjusting to a new environment. The patient is given the means to contact department managers if problems occur. New employees are welcomed warmly. Department heads personally greet and welcome all new employees during orientation. There is a preceptor program that pairs new employees with experienced staff. This staff is their initial point of contact if they have questions or concerns. All staff has access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), where they may get assistance with a variety of work-related and personal challenges. There is an open-door policy for all managers; line staff and patients can see managers with their compliments or concerns without having to make appointments. All residents are assigned a manager who sees or talks to them daily. The manager is the chief advocate for the resident in the facility. A relationship is built, and the residents give this program high marks in satisfaction surveys and resident council meetings. Nurses enjoy the access they have to their managers, they are encouraged to voice their opinions, identify issues and contribute to solutions in the marketplace of ideas which is a monthly nurses meeting.
Effective communication is essential to excellence in patient care and good patient outcomes. Increasingly, across the healthcare spectrum, there is reliance on teams from a variety of specialties such as nursing, physician specialties, physical therapy, social work to care for patients. At the same time, medical error is estimated to be the third most common cause of death in the US, and teamwork failures, like failures in communication, account for up to 70-80 percent of serious medical errors, (AMA 2016). Experience has taught me that ineffective communication leads to delay of care, litigation, bad press, poor patient outcome, dysfunctional team relationships, and many other negative effects. If poor communication results in negative outcomes, then empirically, the converse is also true. Good, effective communication results in timely care, good team dynamic, reduction in medical errors, and overall improvement in patient outcome.