The overall nursing standard of care may be established by a number of different means:
Failure to communicate between health care providers is a frequent cause of serious medical injury and resulting medical malpractice. Many hospitals use the “National Patient Safety Goals” published by the Joint Commission as a basic standard for their policies and procedures. These goals, referred to as NPSG guidelines, clarify how certain things should be properly communicated and recorded among health care providers.For instance, such things as telephone orders, abbreviations to be avoided, proper hand off of a patient from one provider to another and proper communication of critical test results.
One model for proper communication is what is called SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation). This method requires that the provider who is communicating information to another provider identifies the current situation, what the background is leading to that current situation, what is the assessment of the situation and what is the recommendation to remedy the situation. Documentation of this communication should be maintained in the patient’s hospital chart.
In evaluating the communication between providers, in particular doctors and nurses, it is important to look at the issue of disruptive conduct, i.e. whether the doctor has a reputation of engaging in intimidating or abusive behavior towards other providers. That impedes communication. In that regard the disciplinary history of that doctor becomes important. Many hospitals have a policy of zero tolerance of any such disruptive behavior.
With the advent of electronic medical records it is important to know the technology aspects of recording information at that facility and by that provider.
It is also important to understand and review the chain of command within the health care system. Nurses are required to report concerns about a patient to the attending doctor first. If that doctor fails to take corrective action, then the nurse is required to notify the supervisor. The failure of the nurse to do so may make the nurse legally liable.
All of those different modes of communication need to be evaluated in looking at a communication failure case.For Nurse Negligence Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney