The art of communication: strategies to improve efficiency, quality of care and patient safety in the emergency department

Krug, S. E.

Pediatr Radiol. 2008 Sep 24; 38 Suppl 4:S655-9

Abstract

The practice of pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) has been supported by wonderful advancements in diagnostic testing, particularly in medical imaging. One of the most remarkable has been CT, which has arguably become our most valuable diagnostic tool in the emergency department (ED). PEM specialists have grown increasingly aware of quality and safety concerns in the care of children in emergency medical settings, spurred in part by a rapid growth in ED utilization and significant overcrowding. In the midst of this comes the revelation that one of our most valued diagnostic tools might place our youngest patients at a significant risk for the development of fatal cancer. This article reinforces the fundamental importance of communication and teamwork as a means to promote patient care quality and safety in the ED, and it offers partnership strategies for PEM and pediatric radiology specialists to consider as they address these important concerns.

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