Welcome to ISCOME!

The process of communication is central to every aspect of health care. When clinicians communicate well with colleagues and patients, health outcomes are substantially enhanced. When communication is performed poorly, health outcomes and patients themselves are put at significant risk. In fact, ineffective communication has been identified as one of the root causes of harmful events in medical care.

ISCOME™ is an interdisciplinary non-profit organization for scholars and practitioners who are interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of human behavior that occurs at the intersections between communication science and medicine. At ISCOME™, we consider communication as an essential safe practice criterion, and we focus on active research collaborations and interventions that establish an evidence-based bridge between these two disciplines, integrating the knowledge and practices from communication science and related fields into healthcare.

ISCOME™ began in 2013 as a small group of scholars from the United States and Europe in communication science, psychology, public health, law and other fields who dedicated themselves to establish a collaborative research agenda to improve the quality and safety of healthcare. Since 2013, ISCOME™ has sponsored three official meetings for its members and was formalized into a non-profit organization in January 2014. In June 2015, ISCOME™ organized a conference themed “The Golden Bridge: Communication and Patient Safety”. The diverse backgrounds of its executive board members illustrate the interdisciplinary heart of the organization. I invite you to read more about ISCOME™’s vision, mission and objectives on our website.

ISCOME™'s expertise is available to everyone, and its diverse structure ensures the organization's relevance to a multitude of interest areas. Despite our special interests in quality and patient safety, ISCOME™ establishes a scientific platform for a wide-ranging interdisciplinary exchange that links the different aspects of human communication with common health care processes and structures, drawing on diverse theories and methodologies. One of the most pressing goals for my term as founding president of ISCOME™ is to bring together these various interdisciplinary perspectives and to support their dialogue and exchange with each other when tackling common problems at the intersections between communication science and medicine.

ISCOME™ communicates within the organization and with others interested in our interdisciplinary field through various channels. The password-protected workgroup area offers its members access to powerpoint presentations, ongoing grant project descriptions, and publications. It also provides a membership directory, full archives of ISCOME™-generated research articles, as well as other information of particular interest to our workgroup members. ISCOME™ collaborates with academic publishers and medical field representatives on resources for its activities, and recognizes outstanding contributions to the field through awards and prizes. To keep the community informed about ongoing ISCOME™ activities and share information on the role of communication in medical error reduction, ISCOME™ has an active twitter account. Please follow us there and share your thoughts.

Our ISCOME™ Executive Board will be happy to help you and answer your inquiries about the organization, its activities, and its upcoming events. If you would like to contact me personally, you can e-mail me directly at ahannawa@iscome.org.

I hope you enjoy browsing our website!

Prof. Dr. Annegret Hannawa
Founding President
University of Lugano, Switzerland