Communication is an important component of safe and

Communication
failure is the leading cause of medical errors such as gaps in health care,
incomplete or missing information, medication errors. Effective Communication
mainly supports the foundation of patient care. Effective Hand-off reporting
during shift change is an important component of safe and effective care. Ineffective
handoff communication is a critical threat to patient safety. The problems that
result from ineffective handoffs are delayed or wrong treatment, decline in the
quality of care, patient safety outcome is declined. The factors that interfere
with effective handoffs are stressful work environment, leadership and management
concerns, multitasking and ineffective teamwork. Poor teamwork and
communication between medical and nonmedical health personnel’s increases patient
safety incidents. The SBAR tool alone will not improve patient safety outcomes
but an educational intervention that provides information on effective
communication techniques and styles, good teamwork strategies will have a
positive effect on work environment, resulting in improved communication,
teamwork, patient satisfaction, patient safety outcomes. Leadership is also responsible
for ineffective handoff reporting if the management fails in developing
strategies to reduce communication failure which is mainly due to poor team
environment, no proper planning, lack of practice, knowledge, skills and confidence
within the health care team members, inadequate staffing and overworked nurses
or other health care team members. It is also important for the hospital
administrative team to invest time in the development of a standardized and
defined reporting tool like SBAR to facilitate effective handoff procedures. The
implementation of written handover policy is an essential step towards reducing
medical errors which in return decreases the financial costs to the system due
to medico-legal claims. Nurse leader also plays an essential role in
implementing processes that helps to clearly define the transfer of
responsibility from one health care member to another, standardize the
communication process with the use of SBAR tool and allow for an interactive
exchange of information in order to facilitate positive patient outcomes
throughout the healthcare continuum. Nurses can assume a leadership role by
working with other disciplines to review current processes and doing an initial
inventory of existing transition of care communication processes. After
determining what transition of care processes exist currently, processes can be
analysed by comparing the information that needs to be provided during each
transition of care with the information that is actually being provided. If the
appropriate information is already being shared and both senders and receivers
are satisfied with the quality and quantity of information provided, the
organization may already have an effective standardized method for
communication during transitions of care and processes do not need to be revised.
Nurse leaders can advocate at the policy level for implementing creative SHARE
solutions for hand-off communications. Nurse Leaders can continue to identify
barriers to safe and effective hand-offs and use targeted strategies like
effective communication styles and techniques, SBAR tool to solve these
problems in delivering safe, quality care. By taking leadership, it is the duty
of the health care team leader to ensure that health-care organizations
implement systems which ensure at the time of hospital discharge that the
patient and the next health-care provider are given key information regarding
discharge diagnoses, treatment plans, medications, and test results. Initiatives
towards incorporation of training on effective hand-over communication into the
educational curricula and continuing professional development for health-care
professionals. The team leader must also encourage communication between
organizations that are providing care to the same patient in parallel (for
example, traditional and non-traditional providers). By taking leadership the
health care provider can engage the patients and family member in decisions
about their care. The health care provider should also provide patients with
information about medical condition and treatment care plan in a way that the
patient can understand.

 

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