Study: Core care team includes doctors, social worker, dietitian

A study conducted at the Loyola University Health System's burn center intensive care unit found that three doctors, a dietician and a social worker are the most central players in regard to communicating about patient care. The study, called "The Social Network of a Burn Unit Team," was published recently in the Journal of Burn Care & Research. A total of 69 coworkers were included in the study, which identified 626 communication pathways. Writing that "effective team communication is critical in complex settings like hospital intensive care units," the study authors note they initially assumed that only doctors and nurses would form the core of the communication network surrounding patients. David Shoham, Ph.D., who authored the study along with colleagues, wants to conduct additional research to measure communication networks in various clinical settings, he said in an announcement. "Comparing social network communication in patient health could lead to better patient outcomes," he said. Study (registration required)