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Invited Commentary
April 11, 2011

Communication Failures and a Call for New Systems to Promote Patient SafetyComment on “Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds in a Medical Teaching Unit”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):684-685. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.129

Communication and teamwork failures are well-known threats to patient safety and form the basis of most root causes in reported sentinel events.1 Strategies to improve communication have largely focused on implementing formal teamwork training programs, teaching specific communication skills, and adopting tools that promote communication and more favorable team behavior. Unfortunately, these interventions have produced mixed results, in part because of challenges in collecting and analyzing clinical outcomes affected by teamwork changes.2,3

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