Interprofessional communication and collaboration are essential in nursing, as nurses work with other healthcare professionals to provide high-quality care. According to Lomax and White (2015), “participation in collaborative teams provides safe, high-quality, and accountable care” (p. 60). Thus, by improving interprofessional communication and collaboration, organizations can achieve better outcomes in patient health and safety, as teams of specialists would be working together to accomplish a shared goal. Another reason why collaboration has a positive influence on patient safety is that it reduces the incidence of unprofessional conduct among medical specialists.
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As explained by MacLean, Coombs, and Breda (2016), it is recommended that organizations facing problems because of employee misconduct improve workplace collaboration. A report by the Joint Commission (2016) supports this opinion, showing that increased cooperation helps to prevent bullying. Improved conduct of employees in the workplace enhances patient safety by minimizing medical errors and promoting a safety culture.
Changes in the Healthcare System
Because of various sociopolitical influences, the healthcare system in the U.S. is expected to transform over the next few years. Some of the planned changes could contribute to the development of a safety culture. Firstly, efforts to address increased diversity among healthcare professionals could promote a safety culture by creating a supportive and empowering environment (Aurilio, 2016). Secondly, due to multigenerational nursing workforce, experienced nurses will be able to share their knowledge on patient safety culture with younger nurses (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2013; Barry, 2014).
The level of education among nurses is also expected to rise, which will contribute to patient safety (American Public University, 2012). Lastly, the focus on patient experience during healthcare system transformation will also ensure that patients receive safe and effective care (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, n.d.). Therefore, increased interprofessional communication and collaboration, as well as future changes to the healthcare system, will help U.S. medical institutions to achieve patient safety goals.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2013). Pocket guide TeamSTEPPS 2.0: Team strategies & tools to enhance performance and patient safety. Web.
American Public University. (2012). Nurses for change webcast [Video file]. Web.
Aurilio, L. A. (2017). Creating an inclusive culture for the next generation of nurses. Nurse Leader, 15(5), 315-318.
Barry, M.-E. (2014, March 3). Creating a practice environment that supports multigenerational workforce collaboration. The American Nurse. Web.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (n.d.). Across the chasm: Six aims for changing the health care system. Web.
The Joint Commission. (2016). Bullying has no place in health care. Web.
Lomax, S. W., & White, D. (2015). Interprofessional collaborative care skills for the frontline nurse. Nursing Clinics, 50(1), 59-73.
MacLean, L., Coombs, C., & Breda, K. (2016). Unprofessional workplace conduct… defining and defusing it. Nursing Management, 47(9), 30-34.