Patient safety incidents associated with failures in communication reported from critical care units in the North West of England between 2009 and 2014

March 23, 2016

Source:  Journal of the Intensive Care Society [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication: February 2016

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Communication is central to the safe and effective delivery of critical care. This article presents a retrospective analysis of hospital incident reports attributed to communication that were generated by 30 intensive care units in the North West of England from 2009 to 2014. The study reviewed when during the critical care pathway incidents occur, the personnel involved, the method of communication used, the type of information communicated and the level of harm associated with the incident. The study found that patient safety incidents tend to occur when patients are transferred into or out of the intensive care unit and when information has to be communicated to other teams during the critical care stay. Ways that the patient handover process may be modified to improve communication and safety are also examined.

Length of publication:  1 webpage

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How might health services capture patient-reported safety concerns in a hospital setting? An exploratory pilot study of three mechanisms

February 24, 2016

Source:  BMJ Quality & Safety

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Date of publication: February 2016

Publication type:  Original research

In a nutshell:  Emergent evidence suggests that patients can identify and report safety issues while in hospital. However, little is known about the best method for collecting information from patients about safety concerns. This study presents an exploratory pilot of three mechanisms for collecting data on safety concerns from patients during their hospital stay.

The results of the study were that significantly more safety concerns were elicited from patients in face-to-face interviews condition compared with the paper-based form and the patient safety hotline. The authors concluded that interviewing at the patient’s bedside is likely to be the most effective means of gathering safety concerns from inpatients, potentially providing an opportunity for health services to gather patient feedback about safety from their perspective.

Length of publication:  Unspecified

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Situation, background, assessment, and recommendation-guided huddles improve communication and teamwork in the emergency department

December 23, 2015

Source:  Journal of Emergency Nursing 41/6 pp. 484–488

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Date of publication:  October 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  A performance-improvement project with the structured processes of a joint patient evaluation and huddle was implemented within a US pediatric emergency department. The following outcomes were measured: presence or absence of joint patient evaluation and SBAR-guided huddle, verbalization of treatment plan, communication, teamwork, and nurse satisfaction. This project showed the feasibility of a simple and inexpensive joint nurse practitioner–registered nurse patient evaluation followed by a structured huddle, which improved communication, teamwork, and nurse satisfaction scores. This performance-improvement project has the potential to enhance efficiency by reducing redundancy, as well as to improve patient safety through the use of structured communication techniques.

Length of publiction:  5 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Clinical handover: the importance, problems and educational interventions to improve its practice

September 30, 2015

Source:  British Journal of Hospital Medicine 76/6 pp. 353-7

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Date of publicationJune 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell: The clinical handover is a complex area of advanced communication in medicine. It is becoming increasingly recognised as a situation where good communication is needed to ensure patient safety. This article outlines the importance of clinical handover and the need to make improvements.

Length of Publication:  5 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Operating theatre teams should review the use of background music, study suggests

August 26, 2015

Source:  University College London, Institute of Education

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Date of publicationAugust 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: An analysis of video footage taken during 20 operations shows that some operating theatre teams are negatively affected by background music during surgery. The study suggests that communication within the theatre team can be impaired when music is playing. The authors recommend that surgical teams hold discussions about playing music during an operation, with particular emphasis on taking into consideration the views of nurses. A good opportunity for this would be during the ‘Time Out’ section of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgery Safety Checklist. Based on their broader body of research, the team has developed a training model – Video Supported Simulation for Interactions in the Operating Theatre (ViSIOT) – that aims to improve communication and includes strategies to alleviate problems associated with music.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Effective communication and teamwork promotes patient safety

August 26, 2015

Source:  Nursing Standard 29/49 pp. 50-57

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Date of publication:  August 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This article introduces behaviours that support communication, co-operation and co-ordination in teams. It explores the central role of communication in enabling co-operation and co-ordination. A human factors perspective is used to examine tools to improve communication and identify barriers to effective team communication in health care.

Length of Publication:  8 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Smartphones let surgeons know WhatsApp: an analysis of communication in emergency surgical teams

March 25, 2015

Source:  American Journal of Surgery 209/1 pp. 45-51

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Date of publication:  January 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The authors say that outdated communication technologies in healthcare can place patient safety at risk. They set out to evaluate implementation of the WhatsApp messaging service within emergency surgical teams in a London hospital. The initiator and receiver of communication were compared for response times and communication types. Safety events were reported using direct quotations. The authors conclude that WhatsApp represents a safe, efficient communication technology.

Length of Publication:  7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library