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Journal Article > Study
Gordon MB, Melvin P, Graham D, et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165:424-428.
Improving teamwork and communication is a continued focus in the hospital setting. Targeted interventions to address noted gaps include adoption of interdisciplinary rounds, use of patient whiteboards, and structured tools such as SBAR. This study reorganized physicians into unit-based teams to evaluate the impact on nurse–physician communication. Following implementation of the new model, physicians were more likely to identify the nurse for their patients and experience increased frequency of direct communication with them. These changes also led to 42% fewer pages from nurses to physicians. While the study didn't correlate these self-reported improvements in communication to clinical outcomes, it's one of the first studies investigating the benefits of geographic organization as a potential safety strategy.
Cases & Commentaries
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Thomas H. Gallagher, MD; May 2011
Transferred to a tertiary hospital, a child with severe swelling of the brain is found to have venous sinus thromboses and little chance of survival. Further review revealed that the referring hospital had missed subtle signs of cerebral edema on the initial CT scan days earlier, raising the question of whether to disclose the errors of other facilities or caregivers.