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Non-Medical Radiography Staff Experiences in Inter-Professional Communication: A Swedish Qualitative Focus Group Interview Study

Authors Fatahi N, Kustrimovic M, Elden H

Received 17 September 2019

Accepted for publication 21 February 2020

Published 29 April 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 393—401

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S231442

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Video abstract presented by Nabi Fatahi.

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Nabi Fatahi,1 Mirjana Kustrimovic,2 Helen Elden3

1Department of Learning and Leadership for Health Care Professionals, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 2Department of Radiography, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 3Department of Reproductive and Perinatal Health, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Correspondence: Nabi Fatahi
Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg 41345, Sweden
Tel +46 704383133
Fax +46 317866002
Email nabi.fatahi@allmed.gu.se

Purpose: To describe the experiences of non-medical discipline staff of difficulties and possibilities in inter-professional communication within the radiology department and remitting departments.
Materials and Methods: Three focus group interviews were conducted with 16 non-medical discipline staff in a radiology department at a university hospital in Sweden. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: The experiences of inter-professional communication by non-medical discipline staff within the radiology department and with remitting departments can be described in three categories, and six sub categories. The informants experienced difficulties in both oral and written inter-professional communication. Inadequate structures, incorrect information and unclear language in the referral forms, lack of feedback from clinicians and radiologists, and reduced face-to-face communication were described as factors that negatively influenced communication. Other difficulties were time shortage, inadequate routines and economy issues. The possibilities described were use of face-to-face communication, interpreters, and clear and well-structured referral forms.
Conclusion: Non-medical staff experience that quality in inter-professional communication has a significant impact on health outcomes and patient safety. They expressed a number of difficulties in both written and oral inter-professional communication. For example inadequate written and oral communication, as well as practical issues such as routine could negatively influence the quality of the outcome of inter-professional communication. Lack of feedback from clinicians and radiologists and reduced face-to-face communication were also mentioned as factors that influence oral communication. Possibilities described to improve inter-professional communication quality and thus patient safety were professional contact on both professional and personal levels, use of interpreters, and clear and well-structured referral forms. The results of this study add to our knowledge of the difficulties and possibilities in non-medical inter-professional communication, which may enhance both safety and health outcomes for patients if implemented. Future studies in interprofessional communication is needed.

Keywords: face-to-face communication, interprofessional communication, oral communication, radiograph, radiologist, written communication

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