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Improving communication
  1. Geoffrey Hughes
  1. Correspondence to Professor Geoffrey Hughes, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Emergency department, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000, South Australia, Australia; cchdhb{at}yahoo.com

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In January 2012, we used this editorial space to discuss the challenges we face in maintaining good communication in day-to-day clinical practice and reported some work on the topic being done here in Australia. This month we highlight another piece of work, also from Australia, which deserves a mention and is connected to the former.

The executive summary to the report Communicating in Hospital Emergency Departments (a 98-page report from the University of Technology in Sydney and published in August 2011) argues that ‘communication (whether spoken, written or electronic) underpins what is done in the ED [emergency department]. From handovers to taking blood, to giving medications, to reading computer screens, to listening to colleagues, to doing resuscitations—clinicians engage in speaking, listening, reading and writing on a continual basis. The way the communicative, social and …

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