The Joint Commission has identified lapses in communication as one of the leading root causes of sentinel events. Although there has been literature published surrounding the handoff of patient information among members of the same team, there is a paucity of literature exploring the communication of patient information amongst consulting physicians and primary teams in the inpatient setting. The aim of our study was to assess the perception of communication gaps and satisfaction of communication between primary general internal medicine teams and nephrology consultants during a patient’s transition from the hemodialysis (HD) unit to the floor, a time where important issues like fluid balance, medication administration, and electrolytes should be relayed.
100 internal medicine residents and faculty as well as 26 nephrology faculty and fellows participated in a survey addressing their perception of the frequency, importance, quality, and satisfaction of communication between the inpatient HD unit and primary general internal medicine teams. Responses were graded according to Likert scales ranging from 1 to 5. Categorical variable analysis was done via chi‐square tests, while continuous variable analysis was done via t‐tests.
There was a statistically significant difference in the perception of how often verbal and/or written communication occurs following dialysis among teams, with 82% of primary team providers reporting “Never” or “Rarely” compared to 19.2% of nephrology providers (p < 0.001). Primary teams’ perception of communication regarding hemodialysis schedule, vitals, labs, and ultrafiltration was also lower than that of nephrologists (p < 0.001). When no verbal communication occurred, only 49% of primary providers were able to identify the correct place to find information regarding the HD session as compared to 100% of nephrologists. (p < 0.001). There was a significant discrepancy in the degree of satisfaction with current communication practices, with nephrology providers perceiving a much higher level of satisfaction (p < 0.001). Despite the differences found, there was no statistically significant difference between primary care providers and nephrology consultants when it came to their views of the importance of communication. In addition, both groups felt that a lack of communication can result in adverse events.
Both primary general internal medicine and nephrology consultant teams believe that communication between teams is important and that lapses in communication can result in adverse events; however, their perception of how often communication occurs and their satisfaction with the current state of communication is significantly different.
To cite this abstract:Fernandez C, Heung M, Royer S, Stojan J. Perception of Communication Frequency and Satisfaction Between Primary Medicine Teams and Nephrology Consultants. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2014, March 24-27, Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 106. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2014; 9 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/perception-of-communication-frequency-and-satisfaction-between-primary-medicine-teams-and-nephrology-consultants/. Accessed April 7, 2020.