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What did patients say about how health care providers communicate with one another about patient care?

About half of patients felt that their care was always well coordinated by hospital staff

Coordination of care involves effective communication among health care providers. This is just as critical as communication between providers and their patients.

Lack of communication among health care providers may lead to frustration and confusion among patients, system inefficiencies and unintended patient harm.

Percentage of patients who felt that their care was always well coordinated, by hospital type: Small hospital, 61%; Medium hospital, 55%; Large hospital, 54%; Teaching hospital, 56%; Overall average, 56%.

A higher percentage of patients from small hospitals felt that their care was always well coordinated.

Almost half of patients felt that

communication among health care providers could be improved.

health care providers could be more informed about their hospital care.

Success stories

Since installing Quality and Patient Safety boards in high-traffic areas at all 10 of its acute care hospitals, Interlake–Eastern Regional Health Authority in Manitoba has noticed an increase in teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration among hospital staff.

Each Quality and Patient Safety board showcases key information about the hospital. A key component of these boards is the presentation of 4 or 5 patient experience survey results, which are refreshed on a monthly basis.

“Staff really appreciate the inpatient experience data,” said Tracy Abraham, the clinical team manager of Pinawa District Hospital. “It is helping them understand where improvements can be made.”

The patient experience data is tailored to reflect priority areas at each particular hospital. For instance, some boards report whether or not patients had enough information when transferring from the emergency department to an inpatient bed, and others highlight noise levels at night. All hospital boards include information on patient experiences with nurses and doctors.

The data featured on the boards is used in daily patient safety huddles led by the clinical team manager. All available staff members — from housekeeping to doctors and nurses — are invited to discuss patient-specific changes or concerns.

“It’s been great to see everyone’s enthusiasm,” said Patrice Lee, the clinical team manager of Stonewall Hospital. “Even patients are stopping to read the information.”