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Complex Communication Inhibits the Delivery of Safe Healthcare

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | March 07, 2010
Healthcare Risk Control System
PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA - According to the Joint Commission, communication is cited as a root cause in nearly 70% of reported sentinel events, surpassing other commonly identified issues such as staff orientation and training, patient assessment, and staffing. The increasingly complex healthcare environment can complicate the communication process and hinder the information exchanges necessary for optimum care.

In honor of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 7-13, 2010, ECRI Institute, an independent, nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, is providing free access to web-based resources to help healthcare professionals face communication issues in their organization. Healthcare professionals can download the full Risk Analysis, "Communication," from ECRI Institute's Patient Safety Center Web site (www.ecri.org/patientsafety).

This free Risk Analysis, a publication of ECRI Institute's Healthcare Risk Control System, provides examples of communication breakdowns that can affect patient outcomes and patient safety and result in liability claims and other potential losses for healthcare organizations. It reviews strategies for improving communication and teamwork, suggests ways to comply with the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals related to communication, and provides action recommendations to improve communication and teamwork among healthcare providers and other staff. In addition, information on resources and toolkits is provided to assist risk managers in enhancing communications, improving patient safety, and reducing risk in their organizations.

The Communication Risk Analysis is available for free download from March 7-13, 2010, from ECRI's Patient Safety Center Web site. The Patient Safety Center also contains free resources that patient safety professionals can access throughout the year, including reports on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services final rule on hospital-acquired conditions, medical technology issues, surgical fire prevention, and more.

ECRI Institute's Healthcare Risk Control System is a membership program that provides actionable recommendations, tools, sample policies and procedures, and many other sources of practical advice for minimizing risk and ensuring patient safety.

For more information about the Healthcare Risk Control System, visit www.ecri.org/hrc.

ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org), a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for more than 40 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated as a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO, listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, strives to achieve the highest levels of safety and quality in healthcare by collecting and analyzing patient safety information and sharing lessons learned and best practices.

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