Communication and collaboration: it's about the pharmacists, as well as the physicians and nurses

Center for Quality and Safety, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Quality and Safety in Health Care (Impact Factor: 2.16). 06/2010; 19(3):169-72. DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2008.026435
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Collaboration and communication as dimensions of patient safety climate have been measured in acute care hospital units, and discrepant viewpoints have been documented between different professional groups, particularly between physicians and nurses. In the ambulatory care setting, these groups often work more closely together throughout the day than in acute care settings, thereby enhancing effective collaboration and communication. This study sought to determine if the communication differences that are known to impact patient safety, which are found in acute care, also exist in ambulatory care.
The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, a 77-item survey of collaboration, communication and safety attitudes, was administered to the primary care staff at four Midwestern military ambulatory care clinics.
There were 107 participants consisting of nurses (n=46), nurse practitioners (n=12), pharmacists (n=10) and physicians (n=39), yielding an overall response rate of 65%. All groups rated their peer group higher than other professional groups. The ratings of nurses and physicians were very similar: 85.0% of nurses rated physicians, and 85.7% of physicians rated nurses as high or very high in communication and collaboration. Pharmacists were rated the lowest by each of the other professional groups. Only 60% of pharmacists rated physicians as high or very high.
Collaboration and communication ratings among physicians and nurses appear to be higher in the ambulatory care setting than in the acute care. However, interactions with pharmacists are more problematic, perceived as adversarial. Teamwork training that focuses on specific interactions among professional groups should target these concerns.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nowadays, the belief is widespread that a safety culture is crucial to achieving patient safety, yet there has been virtually no analysis of the safety culture in pediatric hospital settings so far. Our aim was to measure the safety climate in our unit, compare it with benchmarking data, and identify potential deficiencies. Prospective longitudinal survey study at two points in time. Pediatric surgical intensive care unit at a Dutch university hospital. All unit personnel. To measure the safety climate, the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire was administered to physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, technicians, and ward clerks in both May 2006 and May 2007. This questionnaire assesses caregiver attitudes through use of the six following scales: teamwork climate, job satisfaction, perceptions of management, safety climate, working conditions, and stress recognition. Earlier research showed that the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire has good psychometric properties and produced benchmarking data that can be used to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in a given clinical unit against peers. The response rates for the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire were 85% (May 2006) and 74% (May 2007). There were mixed findings regarding the difference between physicians and nurses: on three scales (i.e., teamwork climate, safety climate, and stress recognition), physicians scored better than nurses at both points in time. On another two scales (i.e., perceptions of management and working conditions), nurses consistently had higher mean scale scores. Probably due to the small number of physicians, only some of these differences between physicians and nurses reached the level of statistical significance. Compared to benchmarking data, scores on perceptions of management were higher than expected (p < .01), whereas scores on stress recognition were low (p < .001). The scores on the other scales were somewhat above (job satisfaction), close to (teamwork climate, safety climate), or somewhat below (working conditions) what was expected on the basis of benchmarking data, but no persistent significant differences were observed on these scales. Although on most domains the safety culture in our unit was good when compared to benchmark data, there is still room for improvement. This requires us to continue working on interventions intended to improve the safety culture, including crew resource management training, safety briefings, and senior executive walk rounds. More research is needed into the impact of creating a safety culture on patient outcomes.
    Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 05/2011; 12(6):e310-6. DOI:10.1097/PCC.0b013e318220afca · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The increasing emphasis on interprofessional practice to improve the quality and safety of health care delivery led the nursing faculty of a small liberal arts university to explore a unique collaborative educational initiative with School of Business Administration faculty. As the School of Nursing was developing a master's of science in nursing administration option, the School of Business Administration was creating an undergraduate health care administration concentration. Both disciplines were examined for common competencies, courses that could be shared were identified, and the initiative was launched. The response from students has been overwhelmingly positive. The ability to examine health care issues from both business and clinical perspectives has enriched the learning environment and broadened the views of students in both majors. Challenges faced and lessons learned are discussed. Recommendations for evaluating and strengthening the partnership are identified. Advice and encouragement are offered to others considering similar nonclinical collaborative opportunities.
    Journal of Nursing Education 02/2012; 51(5):291-3. DOI:10.3928/01484834-20120224-05 · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article aims to encourage healthcare administrators to consider the learning organization concept and foster collaborative learning among teams in their attempt to improve patient safety. Relevant healthcare, organizational behavior and human resource management literature was reviewed. A patient safety culture, fostered by healthcare leaders, should include an organizational culture that encourages collaborative learning, replaces the blame culture, prioritizes patient safety and rewards individuals who identify serious mistakes. As healthcare institution staffs are being asked to deliver more complex medical services with fewer resources, there is a need to understand how hospital staff can learn from other organizational settings, especially the non-healthcare sectors. The paper provides suggestions for improving patient safety which are drawn from the health and business management literature.
    International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 06/2013; 26(5):420-32. DOI:10.1108/IJHCQA-05-2011-0032