Thanks for visiting!

Sign up to receive our free weekly enewsletter, and gain access all our FREE articles, tools, and resources.


What types of obstacles might I face when trying to foster communication and collaboration among my staff?

CLICK to Email
CLICK for Print Version

According the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Handbook for Patient Safety and Quality, common barriers to inter-professional communication and collaboration include:

  • Personal values and expectations
  • Personality differences
  • Hierarchy
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Culture, generational, and gender differences
  • Fear of loss of professional identity
  • Differences in accountability
  • Complexity of the situation
  • Need for a rapid decision

These provide an opportunity for leaders from both medicine and nursing to encourage development of a cooperative environment, focused on the needs of the patient, rather than a competitive agenda. These changes take time; however, leaders set the tone for success by role modeling and supporting continuous development of skills across the organization, particularly in the area of communication.

-Pamela Hunt, BS, MSN, RN, and Deborah Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, DBA, CCRN

(July 2012)