A New Way to Curb Harmful Medical Errors: Talk More to Patients and Families

December 7, 2018

(STAT News) – A new study suggests a simple idea could go a long way toward curbing dangerous medical errors: looping in patients and families about what’s happening with their care. It’s the latest evidence on the benefits of a long-running program to improve and streamline communications in hospitals. Called I-PASS, it was born at Boston Children’s Hospital and has since spread to dozens of hospitals around the country. Previous studies have shown that the intervention can reduce medical errors when one provider hands off a patient’s care to another provider at the end of a shift. Now, a study published Thursday in the BMJ finds that after that idea was extended to communication with patients and their families, harmful medical errors fell by 38 percent.

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