Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the negative impact of ineffective communication on the quality of care for pediatric patients in the operating room environment and examine measures to optimize and standardize improvement. The pediatric surgical subspecialties are multidisciplinary teams working in a fast-paced and high-stress environment. In this environment, there are opportunities for ineffective communication. Several measures can be focused on to improve quality care and patient and staff satisfaction.
Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted utilizing the (MeSH) terms: “quality improvement”, AND “effective communication” AND [“interdisciplinary” or “multidisciplinary”] AND [“operating room” or “surgical”]. Titles and abstracts were screened for applicability and eighteen pertinent articles were identified and utilized as the basis for this clinical review.
Results: Ineffective communication impacts quality care in the operating room environment.1 Causes of ineffective communication can be multifactorial. Key contributors to ineffective communication are related to a failure to recognize exaggerated team hierarchy, lack of leadership, lack of open communication, differing expectations and importance of communication, and a lack of a standardized system.2,3 Communication in the pediatric operating room should occur in a prompt fashion and promote idea sharing and collaborative problem-solving.2,4,5 Designated leadership should have situational awareness and manage conflict in a timely and diplomatic fashion.2,6 Any barriers to effective communication should be identified, discussed, and corrected. Written communication is best suited for standardization of process and continued use.7
Conclusion: Pediatric surgery involves a multidisciplinary team that participates in the highly specialized care of complex patients. Optimal communication and understanding of the patient’s condition and procedure are essential for quality care.8 Open communication that promotes idea sharing and problem-solving through collaboration, teamwork, and effective leadership enables a high-functioning team with a unified goal to provide seamless patient care.5 The improvement of interdisciplinary dialogue and optimization of intraoperative care through the implementation of a standardized written process for inter-departmental communication led by the surgeon could increase the quality and efficiency of operative care and staff and patient satisfaction.
Ingle JL. Positive Impacts of Optimizing Interdisciplinary Communication in Pediatric Surgery. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(4).
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