Communications in the Healthcare Setting Between Inter Disciplinary



Communicationsin the Healthcare Setting Between Inter Disciplinary Providers

Rosemary Owen

GrandCanyon NRS-433V (NRS-433V-0504)

July 28th,2016

Communications in the HealthcareSetting Between Inter Disciplinary Providers

Backgroundof study


Communicationin the healthcare setting is extremely important. It affectseverything in healthcare, and that is why it is imperative that thereis implemented a good communication protocol in facilities. It isessential to have healthy communication system in all health centresas poor communication can cause serious problems and damages. Forexample, poor communication can lead to sentinel incidents, such asgiving a patient the wrong information, medication, or harming apatient from miscommunication. In addition, omitting information canalso be detrimental for a patient, such as not reporting critical labvalues, or failing to report an abnormal assessment on a patient tothe physician and failing to get that patient treatment in time,there is much more that could lead to harm or death for the patient.

Thesignificance of the study to nursing

Inachieving positive and cost effective outcomes in healthcare, it isnecessary to have organized interdisciplinary teams. This is becausethe nature of the sector is complex. Meeting the demands of thesector also requires knowledge of many individuals or specialists tohelp them work together in solving patient care issues. The studyhelps in showing that well organized interdisciplinary communicationsleads to enhanced healthcare results like patient satisfaction,reduction of hospital costs, and symptom control. The study is alsosignificant to nursing as it illustrates that well organizedinterdisciplinary communications between interdisciplinary providersleads to teamwork creation, which may improve both diagnostic andprognostic abilities of the healthcare providers compared toprofessionals working alone. There are multiple factors that areinvolved in the way the interdisciplinary team communicates thatshould be taken into account. For example the educational levels,experience, skills level, personalities, and personal experiences,and the way an individual grew up on how to deal with communicatingwith others is very important, some individual have an unhealthy wayof communicating, all these factors can significantly impact how anurse can do their job, which in turn affects the patients and peers.

The purpose of the study

The purposeof the study was to have a better understanding of the waycommunication is used within a healthcare setting. The study showsthat interdisciplinary communication can greatly help in reducingchronic illness deaths especially in palliative care, which focuseson life quality, and spiritual and physical suffering. The studysuggests that interdisciplinary providers require good communicationinfrastructure to ensure proper information sharing during caredelivery.

Objectives:research question and/or hypothesis

The study just wanted to know howcommunication in a healthcare setting interrupted the workflow fordoctors and nurses.

Methods of study

Perthe article a “non-participatory, qualitative time-and-motionobservational study” was performed. (Edwardset al., 2009).

Research design

The research design was atime-and-motion observational study in which the observers that weredoing the study followed seven doctors and two nurses over a periodof five days and recorded their findings on a paper-based, semistructured observation tool and then later coded it for analysis.(Edwardset al., 2009).


The samples used in this studywhere the seven attending physicians, six where emergency roomphysicians, one was an internal medicine doctor and the two nurseswhere from the emergency department. (Edwardset al., 2009).


Theprocedure they used wasbased on off the communication observation method created by LoganSpencer.

Results of study

What did they find?

Theresults indicated that on average, the healthcare providers spentaround one third of their time with their patients. On individuallevel, each of the nurses spent around 100 seconds in a single directcare. The nurses operated in a pattern of changing short tasksrapidly. However, the nurse had limited preparation time prior toswitching of tasks. The findings show how the nurses relied on formalinformation sources in completing their work. Their increasedreliance on formal information resulted from decrease in accessinginformation from other communication means like face-to-faceprofessional communication. Additionally, increase in time spent byeach health provider to complete a single task alone also led toincreased use of formal information. The nurses also relied oncomputer use in completing their tasks.

Computerizationof medication management and documentation of clinical systems isessential in increasing work sustainability. Increased access tocomputerized information reduces time spent during transit. The faceof face communications reduction among the professionals reduce needto travel from one office to another to obtain information, which maysave a lot time for the nurses (Edwardset al., 2009).Another result was that the health providers spent some of their timemulti-tasking and experienced numerous disturbances.

Implications to nursing

Theseinterruptions are dangerous as they mostly occurred during medicationtasks. They can lead to medication administration errors. Also thelimited time available for communications hinder exchange of detailedinformation regarding healthcare. The findings affect the wholesector of nursing. In many health sectors today, nurses spend greaterpart of their time alone due to the reduced contact with the othernurses. There is a need to increase interdisciplinary communicationsamong the health providers to encourage teamwork and informationsharing.

Explain how the findingscontribute to nursing knowledge/science. Would it impact practice,education, administration, or all areas of nursing?

Theabove results support increase in interdisciplinary communication inthe health sector. They encourage teamwork as joint tasks take shorttime to complete. Teamwork also leads to professional communicationsassisting the health providers to share their knowledge and expansionof interdisciplinary communication leading to increased level ofinteraction.

Ethical Considerations

Was the study approved by anInstitutional Review Board?

Thestudy received approval from human research ethics committee of theuniversity and institutional review board of the hospital.

Was participant’s privacyprotected?

Thoseconducting the research ensured that the participants, includingnurses and the patients had full information regarding the purposeand how the information collected will be used. The researchers hadprofessional interpreters to avoid confusion. In addition, theresearchers ensured the participants gave a freely consent. Further,to ensure that the privacy of the patients and the nurses wasprotected, the researchers used make up names for the participants.The researchers also observed competence by ensuring that patientswere in their right sense while consenting to participate in theresearch. No ethical issues where noted.


Interdisciplinarycommunication is essential in the provision of healthcare in that, itencourages teamwork that brings care to patients, challenging thetraditional professional boundaries. It promotes expertise and skillssharing. Furthermore, the world continues to experience complexissues in health care provision that requires people to collaboratefor them to share knowledge and skills (Edwardset al., 2009).Health professionals continue to specialize making it hard for onehealth care professional to meet all the complex needs of theirpatients, thus creating a need for interdisciplinary communication.Through this teamwork, issues like multi-tasking among nurses thatlead to care administration errors will be history. The researchcalls for the re-structuring of health sector to create healthyinterdisciplinary teams to help in improving the service delivery toall the patients. This collaboration is essential as it addresses theknowledge gaps among health care providers, which improves thequality of healthcare (Edwardset al., 2009).Health providers should stop operating in separate spheres and cometogether to raise patient care’s safety and quality.


Edwards, A., Fitzpatrick, L.,Augustine, S., Trzebucki, A., Cheng, S., &amp Presseau, C. et al.

(2009). Synchronous communicationfacilitates interruptive workflow for attending physicians

and nurses in clinical settings.International Journalof Medical Informatics,78(9),629 637.