Physician-nurse communication better in small teams

Organizing pediatric physicians and nurses into small teams improves the frequency and quality of communication--and likely patient outcomes--concludes a study published in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Efficient interaction between physicians and nurses is imperative for pediatric hospitals, as disorganized communication is associated with serious medical errors. According to the study, small care teams could be a possible solution.

After reorganizing the staff into the small units, physicians were more likely to identify a patient's primary nurse (62 percent before vs. 82 percent after), more likely to interact with the nurse face-to-face, and more likely to report that the nurse addressed their patient care concerns promptly (44 percent before vs. 82 percent after).

The transition to in-person physician-nurse communication also led to a 42.1 percent reduction in average pages per day to physicians.

However, pediatric hospitals shouldn't stop there, the authors note. "At the same time, the fact that even after intervention only 49.5 percent of nurses believed that residents responded to their concerns in a timely fashion suggests that much work needs to be done."

For more:
- read the Medical News Today article
- here's the study abstract