Communications and Collaboration in Hospital Medicine

Below are resources and materials from the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) to help hospitalists create a better environment in their organizations for communications and teamwork with other specialties.

Conceptual Models for Collaboration / TeamworkClick to expand

"Hardwiring Flow: Systems and Processes for Seamless Patient Care"
This book by Thom Mayer, MD, FACEP, and Kirk Jensen, MD, MBA, delves into one of the most critical issues facing healthcare leaders today: patient flow. To improve flow, coordinated teamwork should "pull" patients through by anticipating where patients come from and go next, rather than attempting to "push" them through by looking for available beds or waiting for the admitting physician to see the patient and write orders.

“SBAR: A shared mental model for improving communication between clinicians”
Published in the Joint Commission Journal of Quality and Patient Safety, this manuscript describes the importance of sharing a common mental model in communication. It characterizes the use of the “Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation” (SBAR) tool at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, IL. SBAR became the communication methodology from leadership to the microsystem in all forms of reporting.

Going Lean in Health Care
Lean thinking begins by identifying value-added and non value-added steps in every process. This white paper published by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) describes how healthcare organizations must create a collaborative culture that is receptive to lean thinking.

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Relational CoordinationClick to expand

Relational coordination is defined as “a mutually reinforcing process of interaction between communication and relationships carried out for the purpose of task integration. More simply, relational coordination is coordinating work through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect supported by frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication.”

Transforming Care at the Bedside
Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) is a national program from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

The program seeks to improve care on medical surgical units through improvements in four areas:

  • Safe and reliable care
  • Vitality and teamwork
  • Patient-centered care
  • Value-added care processes.

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Models of Collaboration/Teamwork for HospitalistsClick to expand

Admissions/Emergency Room

Hospitalists, Nursing Staff, and Other Hospital-Based Departments

Hospitalists and Pharmacists

Hospitalists and Other Hospital-Based Physicians

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Hospitalists and Primary Care PhysiciansClick to expand

Hospitalist Teams With Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants

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Collaborative Approaches To QI That Involve HospitalistsClick to expand

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