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Human Factors: Communication

Communication skills are discussed by the WingFactors team.

We’ve seen that written documentation is clearly very important for clinical communication, so here we explore verbal communication as a key element in human factor management relevant to preventing adverse events…

  • Communication is a two-way process, involving transmitting and receiving information. For example, there is no point having a carefully crafted and informative message if the recipient is distracted and not listening.
  • Note the techniques developed in aviation to ensure that information is passed accurately and all parties are clear about the message. Reading back critical information is taught at a very early stage in pilot training school. It may sound repetitive and unnatural, but it is an excellent method of trapping communication errors, as demonstrated in the video.
To explore your thoughts in a slightly different way – what are the dangers of mis-communication in a patient transfer situation?

Word Cloud!

We invite you to share your thoughts using a word cloud:
  1. Open the word cloud in a new window by right clicking on The Communication Word Cloud. Write your answer and submit it, and then just close the window to return to the course.
  2. Now you can view the results!

Questions For Comments

  • Are there any drawbacks to using the readback technique in a patient transfer?
  • What are the key times in a patient transfer when communication must be clear, accurate and concise?
  • What are the potential barriers to passing on accurate information over the telephone?
  • How important do you think non-verbal communication techniques are, such as eye contact, gestures and body language in a transfer?
  • What impact does PPE, especially enhanced PPE, have on communication?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and for further reading – including aviation case studies and WingFactors top tips – please click on the SHELL model downloads link (below) before moving on.

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A Journey Through Transfer Medicine

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