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It's good to talk—but the talk must be good
  1. Geoffrey Hughes
  1. Correspondence to Professor Geoffrey Hughes, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Emergency Department, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000, Australia; cchdhb{at}

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We all know that good, quality, skilled communication improves patient care, reduces adverse incidents and complaints, and improves hospital efficiency; the lack of it has the opposite effect. This journal has commented on the subject in the past, most recently in an editorial in June 2010. Readers may thus be interested in a recent publication from the University of Melbourne and the University of Technology in Sydney.1

The Australian Learning and Teaching Council set up a Communication for Health in Emergency Contexts (CHEC) project, the stated aim of which is to improve teaching and learning of communication in Australian health education by developing resources that specifically focus on communication in emergency departments (EDs). The project seeks to demonstrate the communicative complexity and intensity of work in EDs and, against this backdrop, identify the features of successful and unsuccessful interactions.

The Council continues by saying that ‘good communication is of growing importance for health professionals and accreditation bodies as quality care is increasingly challenged by the pressures …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.