Health Care Teams

Communication and Effectiveness

Authored by: Kevin Real , Marshall Scott Poole

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  August  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415883146
eBook ISBN: 9780203846063
Adobe ISBN: 9781136931673


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A growing body of empirical research suggests that the success of health care teams can be improved when health care professionals communicate effectively as they work together (Grumbach & Bodenheimer, 2004; Haynes et al., 2009; Lemieux-Charles & McGuire, 2006; Lingard, Regehr, et al., 2008; Williams et al., 2007). National studies of medical safety have found that health care teams have communication problems linked to patient safety, medical errors, and other adverse events (Baker, Gustafson, Beaubien, Salas, & Barach, 2005; Institute of Medicine, Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999). Communication is particularly important in health care teams given the complex nature of medical care (Nussbaum & Fisher, 2009). Much research in this area recognizes that communication in health care teams depends on situated language practices (Lingard, Reznick, DeVito, & Espin, 2002) and discursive constructions that guide and constrain the increasingly complex and evolving roles important to the enactment of teamwork (Apker, Propp, & Ford, 2005; Eisenberg et al., 2005; Ellingson, 2003). Other research examines crucial information exchange in health care teams and how communication is essential to effective patient care (Haynes et al., 2009; Lingard, Regehr, et al., 2008).

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