This research examines the issues surrounding both good and poor spoken communication of safety critical information. It identifies six key areas that present challenges to spoken communication.
Understanding the issues
We commissioned an interdisciplinary external working group to provide a better understanding of the issues surrounding both good and poor spoken communication of safety critical information. The group, made up of policy-makers, practising health professionals, NHS managers, academics and patient representatives, gathered evidence through workshops and focus groups, and by reviewing a wide range of literature, patient safety incident reports and patient feedback.
We have summarised the group’s findings and the six key areas it identified as presenting challenges to spoken communication. The full report includes examples of both good and poor practice.
We will be informed by these findings in our further work to develop techniques and approaches that will help healthcare professionals and patients to have more effective spoken communication.
Improving spoken communication will require action from many stakeholders to establish a new paradigm that addresses not only the structure and format of the message but also the manner and environment in which it is delivered.