Frequently Asked Questions > Communication


QUESTION — COMMUNICATION

What are the best communication practices within an interprofessional team?

RESPONSE

Each team will have unique communication needs and processes. The essential key is to establish what the process will be at the onset of patient/client care and again at each significant care milestone.

A breakdown in communication is frequently a threat to patient/client safety.  Paying attention to communication with patients/clients, within health care teams and across the healthcare interfaces is critical for safe patient/client care.”[1] (5 http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/08/)

Communicating is essential to planning and implementing safe, coordinated care, ensuring up-to-date and thorough record-keeping and documentation. Teams should consider:

  • Face to face communication, backed up with documentation in every instance where the patient’s/client's status and needs are high risk.
  • Making sure that each member of the team has the same understanding of the expectations for his or her role. Consider using care maps or other process tools for communicating and coordinating role expectations in relation to specific patient/client conditions and needs
  •  Using this toolkit for determining and communicating who will do what in relation to a patient’s/cllient's care
  • Using strategies to promote clear communication, e.g. SBAR
  • Having regular meetings for established teams (in person or electronic)

Interprofessional communication and team functioning are identified as two of the six competency domains In A National Interprofessional Competency Framework, Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, February 2010.



[1] ABC of Patient Safety, (2007) John Sanders  p. 16  

 

LINKS

Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative - A National Interprofessional Competency Framework

Canadian Patient Safety Institute - Canadian Framework for Teamwork and Communication

Toronto Rehab - SBAR:A A shared Structure for Team Communication (Adapted for Rehabilitation and Complex Continuing Care): An Implementation Toolkit

COLLEGE LINKS
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CMLTO Professional Practice Learning Program (PPLP) “Professionalism and Collaboration” Learning Module

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CRTO Professional Practice Guideline- Documentation

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