Letters

Communication among health professionals

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7153.279 (Published 25 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:279

Poor communication puts patients at risk

  1. Ros Salter, Research associate,
  2. Paul Brettle, Research associate,
  3. F D R Hobbs, Professor,
  4. M J S Langman, Professor*
  1. Department of General Practice, Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  2. *Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TH
  3. RS, PB, and ML are part of the Post-Marketing Surveillance Group, which receives funding from Astra Pharmaceuticals.
  4. Bethlem Royal Hospital and Maudsley Hospital, London SE5 8AZ

    EDITOR—Gosbee's editorial on communication among health professionals will hardly surprise anyone working in the health service,1 and his conclusions are certainly borne out by our recent experience, despite assertions by Kozak et al that doctors can communicate effectively on paper.2

    As part of the continuing post-marketing surveillance of omeprazole we have been tracing patients from this cohort who have moved since enrolment; we have used a postal questionnaire to ask their present general practitioners for information on morbidity. Several general practitioners responded and expressed their willingness to cooperate, but stated that they were unable to help, as they could not decipher notes written by the patient's previous general practitioner.

    Having just completed a review of …

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