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Open AccessArticle

Barriers and Facilitators of Safe Communication in Obstetrics: Results from Qualitative Interviews with Physicians, Midwives and Nurses

1
Department of Psychology & Methods, Jacobs University Bremen GmbH, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany
2
German Coalition for Patient Safety (Aktionsbuendnis Patientensicherheit e.V.), Alte Jakob Str. 81, 10179 Berlin, Germany
3
Wiesbaden Business School, Rhein Main University of Applied Science, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030915
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 13 January 2021 / Accepted: 17 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Communication)
Patient safety is an important objective in health care. Preventable adverse events (pAEs) as the counterpart to patient safety are harmful incidents that fell behind health care standards and have led to temporary or permanent harm or death. As safe communication and mutual understanding are of crucial importance for providing a high quality of care under everyday conditions, we aimed to identify barriers and facilitators that impact safe communication in obstetrics from the subjective perspective of health care workers. A qualitative study with 20 semi-structured interviews at two university hospitals in Germany was conducted to explore everyday perceptions from a subjective perspective (subjective theories). Physicians, midwives, and nurses in a wide span of professional experience and positions were enrolled. We identified a structural area of conflict at the professional interface between midwives and physicians. Mandatory interprofessional meetings, acceptance of subjective mistakes, mutual understanding, and debriefings of conflict situations are reported to improve collaboration. Additionally, emergency trainings, trainings in precise communication, and handovers are proposed to reduce risks for pAEs. Furthermore, the participants reported time-constraints and understaffing as a huge burden that hinders safe communication. Concluding, safety culture and organizational management are closely entwined and strategies should address various levels of which communication trainings are promising. View Full-Text
Keywords: patient safety; interprofessional communication; obstetrics; preventable adverse events; interprofessional cooperation; safety II; qualitative health research patient safety; interprofessional communication; obstetrics; preventable adverse events; interprofessional cooperation; safety II; qualitative health research
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmiedhofer, M.; Derksen, C.; Keller, F.M.; Dietl, J.E.; Häussler, F.; Strametz, R.; Koester-Steinebach, I.; Lippke, S. Barriers and Facilitators of Safe Communication in Obstetrics: Results from Qualitative Interviews with Physicians, Midwives and Nurses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 915. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030915

AMA Style

Schmiedhofer M, Derksen C, Keller FM, Dietl JE, Häussler F, Strametz R, Koester-Steinebach I, Lippke S. Barriers and Facilitators of Safe Communication in Obstetrics: Results from Qualitative Interviews with Physicians, Midwives and Nurses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):915. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030915

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schmiedhofer, Martina; Derksen, Christina; Keller, Franziska M.; Dietl, Johanna E.; Häussler, Freya; Strametz, Reinhard; Koester-Steinebach, Ilona; Lippke, Sonia. 2021. "Barriers and Facilitators of Safe Communication in Obstetrics: Results from Qualitative Interviews with Physicians, Midwives and Nurses" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 3: 915. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030915

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