The Growing Threat of Ineffective Communication in Quality HealthcareApril 9, 2012
A recent post in MedPage Today’s KevinMD.com blog investigates the growing communication breakdown in healthcare and how it impacts patient care. In “Closing Communication Gaps Between Providers,” Diane Shannon endeavors uncover the truth about issues in healthcare and how to overcome them. With rising concerns over the current state of the US healthcare system, focus shifts to the root cause of the problems. Throughout the post, Shannon makes a strong argument that communication is among the chief causes of adverse events in healthcare.
In the post, Shannon sheds light on the fact that ineffective communication between providers is directly linked to medical errors and adverse health outcomes. She further asserts that communication problems and medical errors are among the highest causes of death in the US, a claim backed by the Joint Commission. According to a report by the Joint Commission, if medical errors could be listed as cause of death, they would rank fifth—higher than diabetes, AIDS, and breast cancer. The staggering statistics about the dire effects of poor provider communication are a call to action for immediate improvements in US healthcare.
The post goes on to offer examples of how timely communication could decrease adverse health outcomes, which could save patient lives. Negative communication is clearly linked to higher costs and increased hospital stay, both of which are major issues in healthcare as a whole. According to Shannon, without action to correct these issues and streamline provider communication, the situation will only continue to deteriorate. As more providers and healthcare organizations focus on finding ways of improving health outcomes, communication tools like OnPulse become more important than ever. Technologies like OnPulse improve provider communication, which will empower healthcare organizations to offer superior care.