To best treat patients in any healthcare system, interdisciplinary collaboration is a must. No person knows every single thing about the human body. Clinicians need to refer to other clinicians who possess an increased depth of knowledge in an area or approach problems from a different perspective. Effective communication on a medical team also pays dividends in other circumstances. A nurse spending most of the day with a patient may pick up on an important finding that impacts the treatment plan of a doctor who had only a limited time to spend with that patient. A thorough operative note and medical progress notes assist rehab professionals in individualizing a plan of care. These are just a few of the many examples of a healthcare team working together to optimize patient outcomes.
Sadly, there are also instances of healthcare miscommunication adversely affecting the patient.1 Not only do we need to focus efforts here to keep our patients safe, but also to ensure an improved healthcare experience. This concept of collaboration even extends to others outside the traditional healthcare team, which I will expand more on in a future post. We all need to make these efforts and improve how we work as a healthcare team. Communicating with others is inherently difficult to do. Cultural, emotional, language, motivation, and education barriers all contribute to this difficulty. With so many nuances to consider, I doubt I will ever be a perfect communicator (or anyone else for that matter), but I know I can improve and that will help my patients.
Another way to better connect is to integrate a multitude of different clinical views on this site. Too many times, we criticize our colleagues or attempt to tear down the efforts of others. I am striving to avoid this mentality here. Some ideas may conflict or may spark a healthy debate, but it is important to realize we are all trying to get to the same place. Knowing this, I believe we will work all these diverse pieces together to create transformative care.
Hope that helps,
- Monegain B. Joint Commission confronts deadly miscommunications. Healthcare IT News. Published Oct 22, 2010. Available at http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/joint-commission-confronts-deadly-miscommunications. Accessed Feb 19, 2016