In patient care, inaccuracy often leads to error: the patient does not receive the right medication, the nurse is mistaken about the patient, the doctor is mistaken about the condition. Human error in care is now a well-known occurrence, and medicine has borrowed many tools from aviation to improve safety, such as simulation training, limitation of working time, use of checklists, and so forth. All these tools contribute to improving human factors in healthcare.
Often due to the lack of communication between professionals, healthcare accidents are avoidable. The only solution is the standardization of communication through phraseology. But make no mistake, the subject of communication is vast and much more complex to teach than we imagine. Communication is not only an exchange of words, of meaning, of a sender-receiver scheme; it also carries the essence of all social and cooperative life by its tone, by its moment, by the listening and availability it demands from the other person, by the words chosen, by those not said voluntarily, and those referred to as “tacit” (what we no longer need to say but the other guesses).
The Medical Phraseology Guide for Superior Patient Safety: How to Improve Communications Between Caregivers, through concrete and proven examples, gives readers the keys to improve communication with their healthcare colleagues. The author proposes 26 rules that are detailed and easy applicable in everyday life. These rules are inspired by the tools and checklist developed and used by commercial airline pilots. Today, more than ever, caregivers face new situations, and they have to adapt to caring for an unusual number of patients, sometimes in new environments. Given this new environment, it becomes clear that teamwork and communication are indispensable tools for improving efficiency and safety in patient care.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 / THE MESSAGE
- Define a goal or set an objective
- Be precise, concise & exhaustive
- Avoid the metaphor
- Use a specific verb
- Customize the contact (triangle of the « who »)
- Locate, temporize.
- Accompany the figures of the appropriate unit
- Limit the use of acronyms
- Use structured methods
- Avoid the implied
- Write things down
CHAPTER 2 / THE ATTITUDE
- Use the right tone of voice
- Attract attention when it’s important
- Observe and optimize body language
- Limit the background noise
CHAPTER 3 / THE EXCHANGE
- Close the communication loop
- Climb the ladder of precision
- Identify characteristics situations
- Use structured exchange methods
- Take the patient into account 66
CHAPTER 4 / PITFALL & TOUCHY SITUATIONS
- Admit your ignorance
- Express disagreement
- Apply non-violent communication
CHAPTER 5 / THE IMPLEMENTATION
- Don’t be firm nor excessive
- Let’s change things together
- Create your own rules
Jérôme Cros is an anaesthetist and intersivist at the Mother’s Hospital and the Child of the University Hospital of Limoges, France, where he devotes his clinical activity to neonatal, pediatric, gynaecological and obstetrical anaesthesia and resuscitation. He is the Director of the Health Simulation Centre in the Faculty of Medicine and pharmacy in Limoges and focuses its research on the impact of the human factor in healthcare.