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Medical Malpractice – Communication

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Communication

Brien Roche

Failure of Communication

Failure to communicate between health care providers is a frequent cause of serious medical injury. Many hospitals use the “National Patient Safety Goals” published by the Joint Commission. This is a basic standard. These goals, referred to as NPSG guidelines, clarify how certain things should be communicated and recorded among health care providers. For instance such things as telephone orders, abbreviations to be avoided, proper hand off of a patient and communication of critical test results must be well defined.

SBAR

One model for proper communication is what is called SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation). This method requires that the provider who is communicating info to another state the current situation. Next is the background leading to the current situation. Next is the assessment of the situation. Finally is the recommendation to remedy the situation. Documentation of this should be maintained in the chart.

In looking at communication between providers you must look at the issue of disruptive conduct. Is the doctor known for engaging in abusive behavior towards other providers. That impedes communication. Furthermore the disciplinary history of that doctor may be important. Many hospitals have a policy of zero tolerance of any such disruptive behavior.

In addition you need to 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 action, then the nurse is to notify the supervisor. In other words the failure of the nurse to do so may make the nurse liable.

Communication Among Doctors and Nurses

Within a hospital setting, doctors and nurses may communicate by several different means.  The most formal means of communication is by orders.  The doctors write up orders and the nurses follow those orders.

In addition another means of communication is progress notes.  Progress notes are written by the physician.  They would indicate what the physician’s findings are, diagnosis and plan in terms of moving forward.  Nurses have equal access to those notes.

Doctors and nurses may also communicate electronically either by phone, text, email or otherwise.

Any and all of those modes of communication may appropriately be used.  The key is to make sure that all of the necessary players are well-informed.

If the doctor doesn’t write the necessary orders or write the necessary progress notes, then the subordinates don’t know what to do.  As a result these other caregivers are thereby left in the dark.  If the doctor is the only one who knows the risks confronting the patient and knows the plan forward, but everybody else on the team is left in the dark, that is negligence.

For more info on this subject contact us.
Also for more info on malpractice claims see Wikipedia.

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Medical Malpractice – Communication

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Communication

Brien Roche

Failure of Communication

Failure to communicate between health care providers is a frequent cause of serious medical injury. Many hospitals use the “National Patient Safety Goals” published by the Joint Commission. This is a basic standard. These goals, referred to as NPSG guidelines, clarify how certain things should be communicated and recorded among health care providers. For instance such things as telephone orders, abbreviations to be avoided, proper hand off of a patient and communication of critical test results must be well defined.

SBAR

One model for proper communication is what is called SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation). This method requires that the provider who is communicating info to another state the current situation. Next is the background leading to the current situation. Next is the assessment of the situation. Finally is the recommendation to remedy the situation. Documentation of this should be maintained in the chart.

In looking at communication between providers you must look at the issue of disruptive conduct. Is the doctor known for engaging in abusive behavior towards other providers. That impedes communication. Furthermore the disciplinary history of that doctor may be important. Many hospitals have a policy of zero tolerance of any such disruptive behavior.

In addition you need to 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 action, then the nurse is to notify the supervisor. In other words the failure of the nurse to do so may make the nurse liable.

Communication Among Doctors and Nurses

Within a hospital setting, doctors and nurses may communicate by several different means.  The most formal means of communication is by orders.  The doctors write up orders and the nurses follow those orders.

In addition another means of communication is progress notes.  Progress notes are written by the physician.  They would indicate what the physician’s findings are, diagnosis and plan in terms of moving forward.  Nurses have equal access to those notes.

Doctors and nurses may also communicate electronically either by phone, text, email or otherwise.

Any and all of those modes of communication may appropriately be used.  The key is to make sure that all of the necessary players are well-informed.

If the doctor doesn’t write the necessary orders or write the necessary progress notes, then the subordinates don’t know what to do.  As a result these other caregivers are thereby left in the dark.  If the doctor is the only one who knows the risks confronting the patient and knows the plan forward, but everybody else on the team is left in the dark, that is negligence.

For more info on this subject contact us.
Also for more info on malpractice claims see Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation