Domain 3: Communicate Effectively for Patient Safety

Last modified by Lisa Stromquist on 2012/11/28 20:58



- Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication abilities to prevent adverse events -

- Communicate effectively in special high risk situations to ensure the safety of patients -

- Use effective written communication for patient safety -

-  Apply communication technologies appropriately and effectively to provide safe patient care -



Health care professionals who communicate effectively for patient safety understand:

  • The roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Models of effective team communication
  • Models of effective patient-centred communication (e.g., the Calgary-Cambridge model)
  • Issues surrounding health literacy
  • Cultural diversity and cultural competency
  • Patient capacity to make decisions
  • Patient consent


Health care professionals who communicate effectively for patient safety:

  • Protect privacy and confidentiality
  • Provide the correct type and amount of information
  • Share understanding and decision-making with patients and family
  • Use jargon-free language to convey complex information clearly
  • Provide informed consent, including capacity assessment as required and informed discharge
  • Support written or oral communication, when appropriate, with patient education materials
  • Use appropriate communication techniques for high-risk situations
  • Communicate with other providers to facilitate smooth transfer of care
  • Use effective team communication techniques
  • Effectively communicate delegated tasks and provide appropriate supervision
  • Provide effective consultations, requests, reports and documentation
  • Use communication tools and technologies
  • Provide proper disclosure and reporting of adverse events


Health care professionals who communicate effectively for patient safety demonstrate:

  • A patient-centred approach to communication
  • Respect
  • Empathy



Staff use appropriate communication tools with patients and families to enable them to be involved in decisions about their health. Staff must ensure patients/families correctly understand the information communicated to them

  • Process for informed consent
  • Care instructions and information shared by staff in clear language
  • Use clear, written communications to effectively disseminate patient safety information to clients and families
  • Increased use of telehealth and telemedicine - eg ROP exams and consults with specialists

Employ standardized communication processes, language and tools across the organization to ensure clarity and seamless transfer of oral and written information 

  • Use of an organization-wide handover communication tool
  • Education and clear process for Medication Reconciliation 
  • Privacy and confidentiality respected for all patient and staff interactions

Documentation process in place that allows staff to maintain complete, current  patient records


  • Professional Development Information Sheet-Documentation 
  • Invest in technologies that enable more accurate communication for patient safety

Evidence of Chain of Command in place to elevate safety concerns throughout hospital

Created by Lisa Stromquist on 2012/07/16 21:25