Development of a tool to improve nurse practitioner−team communication in GMFs

Projet lauréat de l’appel à projets bi-réseau R1Q-RRISIQ du printemps 2018.



The growing number of nurse practitioners (NPs) in Quebec’s GMFs face unique challenges that this context poses to effective interprofessional team communication (ITC). Effective team communication is key to patient safety and patientcentredness, necessary for good coordination of care and for informational and management continuity to safeguard against adverse events. Most IPC occurs in the clinical backstage away from patients, where patient information is translated into clinical notes, referral forms, and hallway conversations (8). As team communicators, these advanced practice nurses can serve as bridge builders between professionals and with the patient, enhancing patient trust and perception of team effectiveness and patient-centred communication.

However, NP communication patterns and team role can vary widely across GMF contexts, depending on institutional and contextual factors, such as practice models; challenges
to existing professional roles and hierarchy; administrative and team structures, including leaders who champion collaboration and the full scope of NP practice; opportunities for formal and informal communication; and especially NP role clarity. Not only has such variation made it difficult for researchers to establish best practices for NP-team communication, these challenges can impede patientcentred NP-ITC in the clinical backstage. Several communication tools and processes have been modified from aviation for health care, especially protocols and scripts for team discussion and planned patient handoffs, but are not designed for primary care where face-to face communication tends to be informal and unplanned, and other methods of communication are largely asynchronous. The goal of this pilot project is to take stock of these existing tools and, with stakeholders, develop an adaptable communication tool to help NPs and GMFs overcome these challenges.


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