Use of IT Improvements to Facilitate Open, Honest Communication Requires Education

At the Bear Creek waterfall on Wednesday

Today was the midpoint of our Telluride Roundtable on “Open and Honest Communication Skills in Healthcare”. After two full days of discussion, discovery and curriculum building, many participants shared a group hike up the mountain to Bear Creek waterfalls.  The scenery was magnificent and the two-hour climb provided hikers a great opportunity to reflect on the first two days of work while continuing discussions on open and honest communication issues before reconvening in our classroom for the afternoon working session. Participants were still feeling the excitement and energy generated from Tuesday’s sessions on shared decision-making and open disclosure education.

Our afternoon session focused on newer information technology (IT) platforms that could support open and honest communication skills in healthcare. After discussing the impact of informatics on patient safety (both positive and negative), discussion turned to how IT can support (and not replace) open and honest communication between patients and caregivers.  Conversations on the need to tie informatics with simulation – both for training and certification purposes – occupied the second half of the afternoon. The recent release of The Update on Meaningful Use: The Final Rule will push adoption of IT platforms at an accelerated pace. The group concluded education and training on these newly implemented healthcare systems in both acute and non-acute facilities will be critical to the prevention of untoward patient consequences secondary to user error.  Curricular models incorporating simulation training and certification on these systems can play a major role in helping reduce risk to patients during roll-out and implementation.

Thursday’s open and honest communication skills topics include mindfulness and culture.