Video recordings spotlight poor communication between nurses and doctors

Communication breakdown among nurses and doctors is one of the primary reasons for patient care mistakes in the hospital.

In a small pilot study, University of Michigan researchers learned about potential causes of these communication failures by recording interactions among nurses and doctors, and then having them watch and critique the footage together.

Several themes emerged to help explain the poor communication, and both nurses and physicians improved their communication styles, said Milisa Manojlovich, U-M professor of nursing, who defines communication as reaching a shared understanding.

One barrier to good communication is that the hospital hierarchy puts nurses at a power disadvantage, and many are afraid to speak the truth to doctors, Manojlovich said.

Full story at Science Daily

Help sought from complementary, alternative medicine to remedy health problems

A new and extensive study has charted the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Europe. It found that complementary and alternative medicine is being used in connection with various health problems, particularly in situations where help provided by conventional medicine is considered, by the patient, to be inadequate.

Headaches, back pain and other vexing conditions have made people turn to alternative forms of treatment. The study revealed that women and those with higher education use complementary and alternative medicine more often than others.

Research data were collected from more than 20 countries, with approximately 40,000 respondents participating in a study conducted in cooperation between the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. Four treatment types were examined: traditional Asian treatments (Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure), alternative medicine (homeopathy, herbal remedies), manual therapies (massage, chiropractic, osteopathy, reflexology), and mind-body therapies (hypnosis and spiritual healing).

Full story at Science Daily

Retail clinics best used as backup to a patient’s primary care physician

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today said that retail health clinics — now commonly present in drugstores and/or big box retailers — are best used as a backup alternative to a patient’s primary care physician for the diagnosis and treatment of episodic minor illnesses. “Health care delivery models are changing and our patients are embracing and exploring alternatives to the traditional office practice,” said Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, president of ACP.

“Retail Health Clinics: A Policy Position Paper of the American College of Physicians is being released at this time because ACP feels it is important to provide guidance to physicians and their patients allowing them to understand the role retail health clinics may have in providing quick, convenient and patient-centered care,” Dr. Riley noted. A summary of the paper is inĀ Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The expansion of both the number and scope of retail health clinics raises many questions about the role of retail clinics long term and how they may complement or augment good medical care and routine preventive health services.” Dr. Riley said. “A balance must be struck between the convenience and easy access retail clinics provide with the importance of establishing relationships between patients and physicians, particularly for patients who have complex medical histories and/or multiple medical problems.”

Full story of retail clinics as backups to patient care at Science Daily