chapter  7
17 Pages

Health Care Teams: Communication and Eff ectiveness

ByKevin Real, Marshall Scott Poole

A growing body of empirical research suggests that the success of health care teams can be improved when health care professionals communicate eff ectively as they work together (Grumbach & Bodenheimer, 2004; Haynes et al., 2009; Lemieux-Charles & McGuire, 2006; Lingard, Regehr, et al., 2008; Williams et al., 2007). National studies of medical safety have found that health care teams have communication problems linked to patient safety, medical errors, and other adverse events (Baker, Gustafson, Beaubien, Salas, & Barach, 2005; Institute of Medicine, Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999). Communication is particularly important in health care teams given the complex nature of medical care (Nussbaum & Fisher, 2009). Much research in this area recognizes that communication in health care teams depends on situated language practices (Lingard, Reznick, DeVito, & Espin, 2002) and discursive constructions that guide and constrain the increasingly complex and evolving roles important to the enactment of teamwork (Apker, Propp, & Ford, 2005; Eisenberg et al., 2005; Ellingson, 2003). Other research examines crucial information exchange in health care teams and how communication is essential to eff ective patient care (Haynes et al., 2009; Lingard, Regehr, et al., 2008).