Do’ and Dont’s of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital

Do’ and Dont’s of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital

In this blog post, we explore the Do’ and Dont’s of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital. Effective communication is vital in hospitals to ensure patient safety, quality care, and positive outcomes. Based on experience, one of things that causes fight in hospitals includes lack of clear communication between nurses and other medical teams in the hospital. I remember during my school days and the pharmacy will fight with nurses, or nurses will fight with laboratory technicians. 9 out of 10 times, this fight was caused by incoherent communication. That is why it is very important that nurses understand the importance of communication within the hospital structure.

Clear and timely communication among healthcare teams facilitates accurate information exchange, reduces medical errors, enhances care coordination, and promotes patient satisfaction. It fosters trust, collaboration, and efficiency, leading to improved overall healthcare delivery

Do’ and Dont’s of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital

Here are the do’s and don’ts of interdisciplinary communication:

Do’s of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital

1. Establish Clear Channels: Implement clear communication channels and protocols to facilitate effective information exchange among healthcare teams. Utilize tools like electronic health records (EHRs), standardized handover procedures, and interdisciplinary rounds to promote seamless communication. However, in a place where there is no form of electronic health records, ensure that all forms of communication is written. Never take a verbal communication serious. Like I was taught as a student nurse, if it is not written, then it is not important.

READ ALSO: Effective Tips for Work-life Balance as a Nurse Entrepreneur

2. Foster Collaboration: Encourage collaboration and teamwork among healthcare professionals from different disciplines. Foster an environment where all team members feel valued and empowered to contribute their expertise to patient care decisions. I strongly believe that the day that  Nigerian nurses and doctors start collaborating, fight and unnecessary argument will drastically reduce.

3. Active Listening: Practice active listening skills to ensure that all team members feel heard and understood. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, ask clarifying questions, and validate concerns to promote open communication.

4. Use Plain Language: Communicate using plain language and avoid medical jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to other team members. Use language that is easily understood by all disciplines to enhance clarity and comprehension.

5. Provide Timely Updates: Share timely updates on patient status, treatment plans, and any changes in condition with the interdisciplinary team. Ensure that all relevant information is communicated promptly to facilitate coordinated care and decision-making.

6. Seek Clarification: If unsure about a patient care decision or recommendation from another discipline, seek clarification or additional information from the relevant team member. Avoid making assumptions and prioritize patient safety and well-being.

Don’ts of Interdisciplinary Communication in The Hospital

1. Assume Assumptions: Avoid making assumptions about the knowledge or expertise of other healthcare professionals. For example, do not think a doctor did not respond to your call because you both had a previous argument in your last shift. Instead, seek clarification and validation to ensure mutual understanding and prevent misunderstandings.

2. Ignore Red Flags: Do not ignore red flags or warning signs related to patient care. If a patient is running temperature, stooling or is complaining of a sudden pain, it is important that you communicate it both verbally and written. If you notice discrepancies or concerns in interdisciplinary communication, address them promptly and escalate as necessary to prevent adverse events.

3. Assign Blame: Refrain from assigning blame or criticising other team members for communication breakdowns or errors. Instead, focus on identifying solutions and implementing strategies to improve interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.

4. Overlook Non-Verbal Communication: While I had earlier stated that you shouldn’t vehemently do anything because it is verbally communicated, you also need to understand every non-verbal communication. Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions during interdisciplinary interactions. Non-verbal communication can provide valuable insights into team dynamics and individual perspectives.

5. Neglect Follow-Up: Firstly, not following up with other medical team can lead you into trouble and maybe lead to the patient suing you if anything happens. Avoid neglecting follow-up communication or documentation following interdisciplinary interactions. Ensure all agreed-upon actions, decisions, and recommendations are documented and communicated effectively to relevant stakeholders.

6. Underestimating the Importance: Do not underestimate the importance of interdisciplinary communication in hospital settings. Recognize its critical role in promoting patient safety, care coordination, and positive clinical outcomes.


In summary, effective interdisciplinary communication is essential for delivering high-quality patient care in hospitals. By following the do’s and avoiding the dont’s outlined above, healthcare teams can enhance communication and collaboration, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *