To understand the risks of communication issues in healthcare, an analysis by CRICO Strategies
of more than 2,300 medical malpractice claims illustrated shocking results which prove that communication failure in hospitals can cause significant patient harm. Findings showed that more than 7,000 out of 23,000 claims had communication breakdowns. Of those 7,000 cases, about 1,700 resulted in patient deaths causing an estimated $1.7 billion in financial costs. Most communication problems were present in areas such as surgery, general medicine, nursing, and obstetrics. Communication barriers were present in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. The majority, more than 55%, of the cases involved provider-to-provider communication, and the remaining involved provider-to-patient communication.