Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue E. Bell


A leading cause of errors in health care settings is failure of interprofessional teams to communicate effectively. Ineffective communication has been associated with delays in treatment, omission of care, readmissions, and adverse and sentinel events. These incidents cost billions of dollars per year and with current reimbursement processes, health care organizations are now incurring the cost of such errors. The purpose of this project was to promote effective communication between nurses and physicians to reduce errors by standardizing the interaction among team members during interdisciplinary rounds and patient handoffs to increase the nurse communication HCAHPS scores, the physician communication HCAHPs scores, and the patient satisfaction HCAHPS scores in an acute care hospital. The theory of planned behavior, which focuses on motivation, perceived attitudes, and behavioral control and Donabedian’s model of structure-process-outcome support this project related to effective team communication to reduce the risk of poor patient outcomes. The project approach was a systematic review of the literature to determine best practices regarding communication during interdisciplinary rounds by linking quantitative data with a review of the qualitative studies reviewed, and in applying research findings to this identified clinical practice issue, consistent communication processes can be developed that will promote positive social change for patients, families, nurses, and physicians.