• Study
  • Published July 2009

Nurse–physician communication in the long-term care setting: perceived barriers and impact on patient safety.

Prior studies have documented suboptimal safety culture in long-term care facilities. This AHRQ-funded study used surveys and interviews to examine one specific aspect of safety culture—communication between nurses and physicians. Nurses noted several problems with communication, including lack of receptiveness by physicians and difficulty reaching physicians. Many nurses noted instances of unprofessional or disruptive behavior by physicians. Nurses acknowledged the need to use structured communication protocols as a means of improving communication. Patient harm can result from a physician's failure to acknowledge a nurse's concerns about patients, as illustrated in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.

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