Importance of Effective Teamwork and Communication in Providing Safe Patient Care

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Nurses have an important role to play in the provision of safe patient care. Particularly, they must collaborate with other health care providers to promote the best interests of the patient. For this reason, teamwork is of critical importance in the nursing healthcare sector. Additionally, nurses must communicate effectively with other health care providers as a way of fostering positive working relationships. Effective communication among healthcare providers is a critical determinant of patient outcomes (Leonard & Frankel, 2011). When nurses can collaborate effectively and maintain open communication channels, they are in a better position to meet individual patient needs. As a result, there is an emphasis on the need for nurses to develop critical communication skills that will foster effective communication and collaboration. 

There is evidence that communication failures are likely to lead to enhanced levels of medical errors. Without standardized communication tools, Nurses are likely to make medical inadvertent that compromise the safety of the patient. For this reason, nurses must demonstrate a standardized communication process that helps them to coordinate patient care. With effective communication, nurses are better placed to handle different situations and foster positive patient outcomes (Wheeler, 2015). Teamwork is practically impossible if nurses are unable to maintain effective communication. Nurses must utilize different strategies to promote effective communication. In the modern day, the increasing number of medical errors has become an issue of concern. For this reason, nurses are striving to enhance communication within the nursing setting so that they can improve patient safety. Undoubtedly, promoting patient safety is one of the significant objectives of the nursing profession. Modern technology has empowered nurses to use different tools that serve to enhance communication effectiveness (Leonard & Frankel, 2011). The use of modern technology improves teamwork and communication as nurses operate in a complex environment. To achieve improved patient outcomes, nurses must master the functionality of different tools that serve to enhance communication effectiveness. 

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One of the powerful communication tools that nurses use is the I-PASS. I-PASS represents a mnemonic that nurses use to remember important aspects in the delivery of health care easily. The use of I-PASS represents a framework that highlights the illness severity, patient summary, action list, situation awareness, as well as synthesis by the receiver the use of this mnemonic and its different elements enables nurses to register effectiveness and to minimize communication errors (Leonard & Frankel, 2011). I-PASS mnemonic emerged as one of the handoff practices that enhance structured communication. Its application in different nursing situations helps nurses to pay attention to all the significant aspects of the delivery of quality of healthcare. Nurses who understand the significance of the I-PASS mnemonic are likely to register positive outcomes in the delivery of health care. Nurses can also utilize other communication tools such as S-BAR and huddling. The choice of the communication tool depends on the needs and preferences of nurses. 

The levels of teamwork effectiveness and communication channels directly determine patient outcomes. For this reason, nurses must demonstrate the commitment to enhance communication and to collaborate effectively. Notably, nurses need to appreciate their role in improving patient outcomes and adapt communication strategies that reduce medical errors. Despite the complexities and dynamics in the nursing workplace, it is possible to foster patient safety by delivering quality care if nurses focus on adopting effective communication (Wheeler, 2015). The utilization of different tools that enhance communication has become one of the approaches used to enhance communication outcomes.

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  1. Leonard, M., & Frankel, A. (2011). Role of Effective Teamwork and Communication in Delivering Safe, High-Quality Care. Mount Sinai Journal Of Medicine: A Journal of Translational And Personalized Medicine, 78(6), 820-826. 
  2. Wheeler, K. (2015). Effective handoff communication. Nursing Critical Care, 10(6), 13-15. 
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