Poor Staff Communication Negatively Impacts Patient Care

A study, conducted by Zogby International and commissioned by Cisco, sheds new light on the heavy toll that poor staff communication takes on patient care. More than 250 practicing nurses were surveyed online.

The primary issue identified in the survey of nurses centered on the opportunity to improve communications among care team members. As much two hours per shift were reported wasted just chasing other people for answers. About 60 percent of nurses estimate they work up to 10 hours of overtime each week due to time wasted or lost trying to communicate with other staff.

When asked to what extent communication lapses impact patient safety, 92 percent of nurses surveyed noted a “medium to very high” impact. When asked to rate the potential impact of improved communication on the patient experience, 74 percent of nurses surveyed noted a “high impact.”

Don‰Ûªt misunderstand. Cisco conducted this survey so that it could connect it to a solution they offer that being their portfolio of technologies designed to improve communication among mobile clinicians.

Nonetheless the study makes a significant point. Poor staff communication affects patient care negatively. The disconnects are huge. Perhaps hospitals can take a lesson from the Cleveland Clinic where clinicians and other care providers (pastoral care and soon ancillary services) round together. That kind of holistic approach to patient care is bound to improve communication.