Communication

Among the most important aspects of creating an effective patient safety culture are communication with the patient and effective communication with the physicians. However, just 4 in 10 (37%) rate their hospital as excellent at communication with the patient and 31% say their hospital is excellent at communication between staff. Further, 33% name “poor communication among nurses at handoff” as something that has increased the risk of patient safety incidences in their hospital in the past 12 months, and 31% say “poor communication with doctors” has also increased the risk of patient safety incidents.

“It’s no surprise that communication is a challenge for nurses today, given heavy patient loads and the time that they are able to spend on patient care is constantly decreasing,” said Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN, director of nursing practice & policy of ANA. “Where we can help is increasing the quality of communication, and arming nurses and front-line staff with the information they need to effectively communicate on behalf of the patient.”

About the GE Healthcare Patient Safety Survey

The GE Healthcare Patient Safety Study was conducted by research firm Edelman Berland as an online survey among a total of 900 practicing registered nurses (500 in the United States, 200 in the United Kingdom, and 200 in China). The survey took an average of 27 minutes to complete in the U.S., 30 minutes in the UK and 34 minutes in China. Total as represented in this study includes respondents from the U.S., UK and China, and the U.S. is weighted down so that each of the three countries is represented equally within that total. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.

Edelman Berland also conducted 14 in-depth interviews with nurses from a wide spectrum of facilities, organizations and fields with similarly varied backgrounds with patient, teaching and administrative responsibilities. Interviews lasted between half an hour and an hour and were conducted between October 12 and November 4, 2011 in the U.S., the UK and China. Subjects were recruited with the assistance of GE, the American Nursing Association and the Royal College of Nurses.

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