Patient-Centered Care

“Best Practice” Exemplars for Safer Care

Failures in clinician-patient communication account for a sizeable portion of medical errors. While researchers have identified errors attributable to ineffective communication, little is known about the patient or clinician communication events that ‘saved the day’ and prevented an adverse event. Research that identifies and categorizes clinician and/or patient communication actions that ‘saved the day’ will advance the field in two ways. First, we will know more about forms of communication that made a difference in a positive way. Second, the type of communication action needed to prevent the error is likely preceded by other, perhaps more subtle communication problems that cumulatively escalated to a near medical error. The purpose of our proposed research is to gather stories of people who have had examples of communicative events that prevented an adverse event, thematically analyze them to categorize their context and form, and create a repository of ‘best practices’ that can be used for medical education, clinician training, and patient safety research.