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Qualitative evaluation of regular morning meetings aimed at improving interdisciplinary communication and patient outcomes

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Abstract:

Aston J, Shi E, Bullôt H, Galway R, Crisp J. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2005; 11: 206–213

Qualitative evaluation of regular morning meetings aimed at improving interdisciplinary communication and patient outcomes

Effective interdisciplinary communication is at the heart of clinical decision-making in contemporary health-care environments. Efforts to enhance communication and work processes among nurses and doctors in an infants-and-toddler ward of a specialist paediatric hospital led to the establishment of Surgical Morning Meetings (SMMs). To evaluate the experiences of nursing and medical team members and their perceptions of the changes brought about by the SMM, qualitative evaluation of the SMM was undertaken through semistructured interviews. The analysis identified four major areas of impact: predictability: a nice way to start the day, which captured the ways in which the SMM led to better planning of the day's activities, knowledge and perspectives: learning from each other, which highlighted the way that ongoing discussions led to greater understanding and respect, relationships and support: getting to know you, which reflected the benefits derived from greater commitment, and desired outcomes: making a difference to staff, children and families. Overall, we believe that initiatives as simple as discussions among nurses and doctors can enhance personal and professional experience and lead to improved health outcomes for our patients.
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