Study Shows Hospital Personnel, Culture, Communication Key to Good Patient Care

High tech equipment, state of the art facilities and renowned surgeons are all important factors that make a hospital great. However, a recent study suggests that a hospital’s culture may be the real factor that determines one hospital’s superiority over another.

According to a recent study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine-a medical journal that publishes articles relating to internal medicine-hospitals that utilize electronic medical record systems, employ “superstar” physicians and contain top-notch rehabilitation services certainly distinguish themselves from other hospitals. However, the study revealed that the hospitals that embrace a supportive team of individuals may be the key to obtaining stellar patient care.

Researchers of the study visited 11 hospitals over the course of one year. They interviewed hospital administrators, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, quality management personnel. The researchers then correlated each hospital performance data with information gathered from the interviews. The outcome-communication combined with a collaborative effort by everyone to improve patient care was the key to superior patient care.

For example, a hospital that utilizes state-of-the-art technology may still have high error rates if, hospital personnel including doctors, nurses and pharmacists blamed each other for a particular incident and failed to receive guidance from hospital administrators choosing to stay uninvolved.

On the contrary, a hospital that may not use every high-tech gadget may have lower error rates if, the hospital had doctors and clinicians eagerly working together to address an error without the need to assess blame.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, senior author and faculty director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute at Yale University, says that, “We have to focus on the relationships inside the hospital and be committed to making the organization work. It isn’t expensive and it isn’t rocket science, but it requires a real commitment from everyone.”


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