Essay Communication Breakdown And Its Impact On Healthcare

1547 Words Oct 31st, 2016 7 Pages
Communication is a key aspect in providing effective patient-centered care. Communication breakdown is the leading cause of medical errors such as gaps in healthcare, incomplete or missing information, and medication errors (Friesen, White, & Byers, 2008, p.286). A research study done by a number of surgeons found that “43 percent of incidents,” were related to communication breakdown and “two-thirds of these communication issues were related to handoff issues” (Friesen et al., 2008, p. 286). Therefore, transfer of accurate information about a patient from one healthcare provider to another is a critical part of a nurse’s responsibility and a vital factor for communication in healthcare (Friesen et al., 2008, p. 285). This transfer of care is known as a patient handoff.
Background
Over the last decade, as healthcare has evolved, inpatient settings have become increasingly more complex. That being said, providing patient care has also become that much more complex, requiring higher level of care and coordination of multiple specialties to manage their disease and co-morbidities. This makes effective handoff between healthcare providers much more important in order to avoid gaps in patient care, medication errors, and patient deaths. In addition, effective handoff promotes continuity of care and treatment for patients.
As stated above, ineffective communication between healthcare providers, especially during shift changes can have significant impact on the quality of care…

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