Strategies to improve emergency care communication

The chaotic, high-stress work environment of the emergency department (ED) can lead to communication breakdowns among staff and have a negative effect on patient care. A commentary published in the February issue of Emergency Medicine Australia offers up strategies for ED doctors and nurses to improve communication and combat chaos. The commentary suggests staff introduce themselves to any new faces, seek clarification and share learning opportunities. While the tips seem like common sense, Kirsty Nixon, a nurse practitioner with the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Program of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Ontaria, Canada, said in an announcement that hospital EDs must build them into daily practice. "That way, when tensions run high in critical situations the team has a strong base," she said. Commentary