Mass. Doctors Discuss Results, Impact of Communication Research

(NECN) - Boston Children's Hospital is a national leader in research of child illnesses.

New research is helping children recover faster by eliminating medical errors.

Doctor Amy Starmer and Dr. Chris Landrigan, who worked on this research, joined us for more on the results and what they mean.

Landrigan said medical errors remain a leading cause of death and injury in the U.S. and that there has been much tension in trying to find ways to solve the problem.

He said, “It turns out that miscommunications in hospitals are responsible for about 80 percent of what goes wrong. So we tried to design a program to tackle that, see if we could fix the problem.”

Starmer said that communications are a complicated process to address. She said they provided doctors with communication training and standardized the way they were passing off information verbally.

Landrigan said much focus is on the problems with the patients, but not with the systems in place. He said it was important to know how information is delivered and how everyone was functioning as a team.

Starmer said, “The results of the study were incredibly encouraging. We saw significant reductions in medical error rates.”

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