Communication in Neurosurgery-The Tower of Babel.

TitleCommunication in Neurosurgery-The Tower of Babel.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHartley BR, Hong C, Elowitz E
JournalWorld Neurosurg
Date Published2020 Jan
KeywordsCommunication, Humans, Neurosurgeons, Neurosurgery, Patient Care Team, Patient-Centered Care, Physician-Patient Relations, Professional-Family Relations

Clinical neurosurgery is a complex specialty with multiple participants, including a variety of providers, patients, family members, and administrators, who interact in complex fashions. Modern-day patient care requires near-constant team communication of vital, detailed clinical information; any breakdown in this process can result in patient harm. Medical communication practices with patients impact mutual rapport as well as the overall physician-patient relationship. Enhanced relationship-centered communication techniques have been shown to improve patient compliance and may positively influence malpractice litigation rates. Neurosurgeons frequently interact with other health care providers and members of the hospital administration on matters relating to billing, compliance, and quality. Communication among the stakeholders is complicated, however, by the fact that the participants may be speaking a variety of different, mutually unintelligible "languages." We discuss the details of the various types of information exchanges in neurosurgery, the key players involved, and the vulnerabilities to breakdowns in the system. In addition, we review the multifaceted, systems-level issues in neurosurgical communication and related weaknesses.

Alternate JournalWorld Neurosurg
PubMed ID31881580