More patient family-provider communication could mean fewer errors

December 6, 2018, Children's Hospital Boston

New research from Boston Children's Hospital finds that harmful medical errors decreased by 38 percent following intervention to improve communication between healthcare providers and patients and families. The study is led by Alisa Khan, MD, MPH, a pediatric hospitalist and researcher at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and is published in British Medical Journal today.

The intervention, Patient and Family Centered I-PASS, changes verbal and written communication during morning rounds, emphasizing engagement, structured communication and health literacy. Patient and Family Centered I-PASS occurs at the bedside with and families present and actively engaged and the medical team minimizing medical jargon and encouraging families to share concerns, ask questions and "read back" their understanding of the meeting.

"Our study suggests that engaging families in hospital communication doesn't just feel like the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do. It can actually make care safer," says Khan. "This study also provides an opportunity for nurses to be fully engaged in the design and implementation of a family-centered team communication intervention."

In addition to improvements in safety, the research finds that multiple aspects of the patient experience improve. Families and nurses are significantly more engaged and rounds do not take any longer or involve less education of resident-physicians and medical students.

"Our prior research has shown that improving communication between providers improves safety. The present study suggests that improving communication with families may also be a critical means of improving , one that has previously been overlooked," said senior author Christopher Landrigan, MD, MPH, Research Director of Inpatient Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "Family centered rounds are increasingly considered a standard of care in pediatrics, but until now, evidence that they could actually improve safety was limited," Landrigan added.

Explore further: Checklist for family-centered rounds deemed beneficial

Related Stories

Checklist for family-centered rounds deemed beneficial

April 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—Implementation of a family-centered rounds (FCR) checklist and associated provider training is associated with an increase in the number of FCR elements performed, according to a study published online April ...

Largest survey to date of patient and family experience at US children's hospitals

March 22, 2017
A survey of more than 17,000 parents of hospitalized children, conducted by the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children's Hospital, gives mixed responses about the quality of the inpatient ...

Four principles underlie patient and family partnership in care

November 27, 2018
(HealthDay)—Patient and family partnership in care should include treatment of patients and families with dignity and respect, their active engagement in all aspects of care, and their contribution to the improvement of ...

Doctors key in care coordination for pediatric inpatients

August 4, 2018
(HealthDay)—Pediatricians have an important role to play in the coordination of care for hospitalized children, according to a clinical report published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Listening to the patient's voice: A more patient-centered approach to medication safety

November 16, 2017
Communication between patients and clinicians that is patient-centered, taking into account patient concerns and preferences has important implications for patient safety.

Recommended for you

Teens get more sleep with later school start time, researchers find

December 12, 2018
When Seattle Public Schools announced that it would reorganize school start times across the district for the fall of 2016, the massive undertaking took more than a year to deploy. Elementary schools started earlier, while ...

Large restaurant portions a global problem, study finds

December 12, 2018
A new multi-country study finds that large, high-calorie portion sizes in fast food and full service restaurants is not a problem unique to the United States. An international team of researchers found that 94 percent of ...

Receiving genetic information can change risk

December 11, 2018
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease but, it turns out, in some cases might also have influenced that risk, ...

Yes please to yoghurt and cheese: The new improved Mediterranean diet

December 11, 2018
Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease ...

Effect of oral alfacalcidol on clinical outcomes in patients without secondary hyperparathyroidism

December 11, 2018
Treatment with active vitamin D did not decrease cardiovascular events in kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis, according to a research group in Japan. They have reported their research results in the December 11 issue ...

Licence to Swill: James Bond's drinking over six decades

December 10, 2018
He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia's Christmas ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.