Principles to improve effective communication and maintain good relationships
Our 8 Principles.
Show respect to your colleagues across teams
Always be respectful of colleagues in front of patients and other colleagues.
Ensure comprehensive, clear and legible handover to colleagues
When transferring a patient to the care of another colleague (or seeking an opinion) ensure that all the information that colleague may need is sent to them in a clear format, preferably electronic if available.
Give clear guidance to patient on what to do and what to expect
Give clear guidance to the patient as to what is the problem, what has been done so far and what it is intended to do. The patient should have an appreciation of what they themselves need to do. Do not commit other teams to any particular action or timescale without checking that is reasonable and practicable.
Do not handover incomplete tasks where possible
Try not to hand over work to a colleague in another team if you or a member of your team can do it unless you are sure that the task can be done more effectively or efficiently elsewhere. When handing over care, check that all tests and treatment plans have been instigated and plans are in place to forward additional information when available.
Remember Your test, your responsibility
The individual who orders a test is responsible for reviewing the result and taking appropriate action. If not able to review the result the individual should check another person in their team will take on this responsibility.
Ensure the patient and you know who is taking over patient care when handing over and that that individual has agreed to take responsibility
If one colleague is unsure whether another can take responsibility (eg for ongoing care, prescribing or monitoring), get in touch directly by email or phone.
Respond promptly to colleagues who need information
If contacted by a professional colleague, make every effort to respond to them as quickly as possible or pass them onto another individual who can do so.
Ensure all relevant clinicians are informed of significant changes in tests or treatment
If a doctor makes or is aware of changes in treatment or there is a change in the status of the patient whilst under the continuing care of another colleague , it is important to update all who need to know
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