How Clear Communication Can Lower the Risk of Medical Errors

January 3, 2024 · 5 min read
Teamwork can reduce medical errors

Healthcare facilities are constantly adapting to change. New patients are regularly admitted and discharged from the facility. Healthcare professionals depend on protocols and strong communication to make sure that each patient is offered the highest quality care possible. Without clear communication, the medical staff faces the reality that mistakes could be made which would impact a patient’s well-being. This article will cover medical errors that occur in hospital settings, as well as successful patient transfer plans, the value of communication, and how secure messaging for healthcare can help lower medical errors.

Guide to Medical Errors in Hospital Settings 

Every year thousands lose their lives due to preventable medical errors. This concerning statistic emphasizes how serious the issue is. The number of medical errors is higher in hospital settings than outside of them. Inaccuracies in medication orders or misdiagnoses can have severe consequences for patients and healthcare providers alike.

Let’s look at an example where a patient is given the incorrect drugs. Unclear communication can lead to the administration of the incorrect medication. Communication mistakes like this can cause serious health problems, extend hospital stays, or may be deadly.

Optimal Patient Handoff Techniques to Reduce Mistakes

Patient handoffs are a time when clear communication is of critical importance. A strong transfer of a patient’s care from one healthcare practitioner to another ensures a smooth continuance of care. However, poor communication during this transition can lead to medical errors. Clear communication is a critical component of patient care.

Uncertainties during patient handoffs are thought to be the cause of over 80% of major medical mishaps. This startling fact emphasizes how important a seamless handoff process is. Imagine a relay race where competitors transfer the baton to one another. The success of the team depends heavily on how well the team completes the transition. Smooth handoffs are crucial when patients are switching from one department to another or during staff shift changes. During these times, the team’s ability to share treatment plans, any unique needs, and vital patient data is critical to maintain continuity of care.

The Benefit of Communication in Lowering Medical Errors

Strong team communication is cited to potentially lead to a reduction in medical errors. It emphasizes that there is a possibility of improvement. 

Small actions performed by medical staff every day make a huge difference in patient outcomes. Consider the consequences of a healthcare professional forgetting to advise the next shift about a patient's allergies during patient handoff. A communication breakdown could lead to a potentially fatal situation. This situation represents how everyday actions can quickly add up to reduce (or increase) the percentage of medication errors.

Secure Communication in Healthcare

The way that medical teams communicate has changed with the integration of technology into the hospital environment. Healthcare workers have access to secure communication tools that are designed to help staff get important information to the right people at the right time.

Secure texting is one of the most important assets in communication technology. Medical personnel who employ secure texting report a noteworthy 59% decrease in communication errors. Facilitating the sharing of patient information, insights, and collaboration among healthcare teams, lowers the likelihood of medical errors due to misunderstandings. Hypercare, a leading provider of secure communication solutions, enables healthcare practitioners to talk, work collectively, and use secure messaging to communicate about all things, including patient needs.

Secure Messaging For Healthcare from Hypercare

In a field where clear communication is critical to patient safety, Hypercare offers a revolutionary solution. Secure messaging, real-time scheduling, efficient on-call management, virtual pagers and streamlined patient handoffs are just a few ways Hypercare may help clinicians reduce medical errors in healthcare settings. Join the thousands of healthcare professionals who have improved healthcare communication with Hypercare. Contact us today to see how secure messaging for healthcare can help your team improve patient care.

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