Posted by Laura Landro
In health-care circles surgeons have long been regarded as rock stars. They’re viewed with awe by patients and treated with deference by hospital staff. But surgeons, like some temperamental guitarists, might do well to improve their interpersonal skills.
Evidence is mounting that surgeons’ failure to communicate with patients and co-workers is a leading cause of avoidable surgical errors. A recent analysis of 460 malpractice claims that had been resolved found that nearly 20% of them were filed largely, if not entirely, because of communication breakdowns. The sobering results appear in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.