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The Silent Treatment: Why Safety Tools and Checklists Aren't Enough to Save Lives.

Maxfield D, Grenny J, Lavandero R, et al. Provo, UT: VitalSmarts; 2011.

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April 6, 2011
Maxfield D, Grenny J, Lavandero R, et al. Provo, UT: VitalSmarts; 2011.

Silence Kills was a 2005 report that highlighted communication failures that contribute to patient harm. These included broken rules, poor teamwork, and disruptive behaviors. This report builds on those findings based on a survey of more than 6500 nurses and nurse managers. Key findings suggested that existing safety tools, such as checklists, are not in themselves solutions to these communication failures. Nurses identified dangerous shortcuts, incompetence, and disrespect as three concerns that undermine systems designed to provide safer care. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective and interview discuss the role of checklists in health care settings.