Healthcare requires many people to work together effectively to deliver safe and reliable care. Teams are usually multidisciplinary with a wide range of expertise and specialisms, and their activities can often be widely distributed in time and space.

Effective communication is not just about providing the right information at the right time. It is also about anticipating the needs of others, packaging information in ways that are practical and relevant to the task at hand, and being mindful of the different perspectives and knowledge that others in a team might have.

These resources highlight methods to improve communication and patient safety including ‘SBAR‘, developed in the nuclear submarine service, and guidance around safer clinical handovers.

Non-technical skills for anaesthetists, surgeons and scrub practitioners (ANTS, NOTSS and SPLINTS) – Rhona Flin, The Health Foundation
RCP Handover Toolkit – Royal College of Physicians
SBAR: Structured Communication and Psychological Safety in Health Care – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Pocket Guide: TeamSTEPPS 2.0 – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Just a routine operation: human factors in patient safety – NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
Human Factors in Patient Safety: Review of Topics and Tools – World Health Organization
Foresight training – National Patient Safety Agency
Canadian framework for teamwork and communication – Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Getting to grips with human factors – strategic actions for safer care. A learning resource for boards – Clinical Human Factors Group
The Lewis Blackman Story – QSEN Institute

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