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Effective Physician Communication Correlates with Patient Safety

From: The Hospitalist, August 2012

More patient safety incidents occurred at hospitals who ranked lowest on the quality of their physician communication.

by Larry Beresford

The most recent report on hospital quality issued by independent healthcare rating company HealthGrades estimates that 254,000 safety incidents that occurred in U.S. hospitals from 2008 to 2010 could have been prevented, and that 56,367 hospitalized patients who died experienced one or more of those preventable events.1

Drawing upon consumer-reported quality data in CMS’ Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, HealthGrades concluded that 15% more patient safety incidents occurred at hospitals who ranked lowest (the bottom 10%) on the quality of their physician communication.


  1. CPM Healthgrades. Patient safety and satisfaction: the state of American hospitals. CPM Healthgrades website. Available at: Accessed July 8, 2012.

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The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

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ISSN: 1553-085X