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Communication 

Communication
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date: 29 November 2020

The Institute for Health Improvement argues that medical errors contribute to tens-of-thousands of deaths annually in the USA alone. Others have posited the need to make a ‘science of team performance’ and a ‘science of managing complexity’. Experts also believe that if our goal should be to maximize patient safety; thus we must tackle our ‘missing curriculum’ to minimize the disconnection between what should be and what is usual. Growing evidence shows that teamwork and communication is key to bridging these ‘care gaps’. This chapter outlines how critical care team skills (and ‘verbal dexterity’) can match procedural dexterity and factual know-how, using practical strategies from other high-stakes industries. Whether we think in team terms is a comment on medical culture. Regardless, given teamwork’s importance, it is time to argue that there really is no ‘I in ICU’!

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