4 Essential Communication Strategies that Promote Patient Safety

This instructional continuing education course is designed for nurses who are in direct care or middle management positions in hospitals; long-term care facilities, and other frontline in- and out-patient practice settings. Despite the many years of national focus on improving patient safety outcomes, we continue to have staggering statistics involving preventable deaths, illnesses, and injuries that are due to medical errors. Additionally, because communication breakdowns and associated problems with inter-professional relationships have long been major contributors to these alarming problems, it is imperative for nurses to develop skills and promote positive interpersonal dynamics. Respectful interactions and effective communication seem simple on paper, yet successful efforts to practice them in the field remain elusive.

In this course, students will examine patient safety statistics and root cause analysis data in order to understand the scope of the problem and how persistent issues with communication and human dynamics are interfering with providing safe care. This foundation will provide the incentive to commit to exploring and practicing communication strategies that will help to solve them.

Objectives

Objectives: Part 1
  1. Discuss how key reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and various journals have highlighted serious and persistent issues in patient safety.
  2. Explain how Root Cause Analysis of Sentinel Events provides incentive to develop and practice effective and respectful communication.
  3. Identify communication skills associated with categories and subcategories of root causes of sentinel events using data from The Joint Commission.
  4. Explain how basic understanding in assertiveness, listening, and emotional intelligence are key for setting limits, delegation, and giving and receiving constructive feedback.
Objectives: Part 2
  1. Differentiate effective and respectful limit setting in common situations in nursing practice.
  2. Differentiate effective and respectful delegation of tasks in common situations in nursing practice.
  3. Differentiate effective and respectful giving constructive feedback in common situations in nursing practice.
  4. Differentiate effective and respectful receiving constructive feedback in common situations in nursing practice.

Curriculum

Chapter 1: A Brief History of Patient Safety

  • Thousands of years ago-The Hippocratic Oath
  • 1800s-Florence Nightingale reiterated the Hippocratic Oath
  • 1999-IOM Report: 44,000-98,000 deaths/year in associated with medical errors in U.S. Hospitals
  • 2009-The Joint Commission ranks medical errors as the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • 2011-Health Affairs-Adverse events ten times greater than previously believed and occurring in 1/3rd of hospital admissions. 187,000 deaths in hospitals/year and 6.1 Million injuries (in and out of hospitals)/year
  • 2013-Journal of Patient Safety-440,000 deaths/year associated with medical errors in hospitals making medical errors the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • 2014-U.S. Senate hearing on patient safety-testimony by Dr. Aja-overall lack of progress. 
Chapter 2: Sentinel Events
  • Definition
  • Tracking by The Joint Commission
  • Types and related statistics over time
Chapter 3: Root Cause Analysis
  • Definition
  • Purpose
  • Root Causes of Sentinel Events per The Joint Commission
Chapter 4: Leading Root Causes of Sentinel Events
  • Human Factors
  • Leadership
  • Communication
Chapter 5: Identify Communication-related Issues.
  • Human Factors:  Staffing levels etc.
  • Leadership:  Organizational planning etc.
  • Communication:  Oral, written etc.
Chapter 6: Overview of Communication Strategies for Patient Safe Care
  • Delegation
  • Limit-setting
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Receiving constructive feedback
Chapter 7: Delegation
  • Process
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Examples from the field
Chapter 8: Limit-setting
  • Process
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Examples from the field
Chapter 9: Giving Constructive Feedback
  • Process
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Examples from the field
Chapter 10: Receiving Constructive Feedback
  • Process
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Examples from the field

Price: $20.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Beth Boynton

Beth is an organizational development consultant and author specializing in communication and collaboration in healthcare.

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