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Mind the Gaps: More Info

Mind the Gaps: Avoiding the Risks of Communication Failures in Patient Care

  • June 9, 2016
  • | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM |
  • Boston, MA

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 we convened for Mind the Gaps: Avoiding the Risks of Communication Failures in Patient Care, to discuss breakdowns in communication that can contribute to patient harm.

Mind the Gaps attendees learned the breadth and depth of this major patient safety risk through data and the real stories that illustrate what goes wrong. They also heard what their colleagues are doing to close communication gaps in informed consent, referral and test result management, and improving handoffs. And because all solutions depend on a concerted effort to make them work, we concluded the day with an exploration of the role of empathy—for patients and colleagues—in helping them mind and eliminate communication gaps.

View the Presentations From This Event


Gaps in communication occur in 30 percent of medical malpractice cases and in countless other events that lead to delays, complications, and unnecessary harm in the process of delivering health care. All providers are susceptible to miscommunicating with other providers or with patients; they are routinely at risk of mismanaging crucial information and instructions; and in doing so can expose patients to preventable harm, and other caregivers to avoidable ramifications stemming from those harms.



Title and Speaker

Managing Test Results

Gretchen Ruoff, MPH, CPHRM
Senior Program Director for Patient Safety Services, CRICO

Nathan Mick, MD, FACEP
Director of Clinical Operations, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Barbara Bush Children's Hospital, Maine Medical Center

pdf Presentation

Transitions in Care

Lisa Heard, MSN, RN, CGRN, CHRQ
Senior Program Director for Patient Safety and Education, CRICO

Christopher Landrigan, MD, MPH
Boston Children’s Hospital

pdf Presentation

Empathy as a Communication Skill

Helen Riess, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program, Massachusetts General Hospital


pdf Presentation

Communication Gaps in the Informed Decision/Consent Making

Michael Brodman, MD, MPH
Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chairman's Chair in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Meg A. Rosenblatt, MD
Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai West hospitals

Peter Shamamian, MD, FACS
Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, and Vice Chairman for Quality Improvement and Performance, Montefiore Medical Center




  • Describe communication failure
  • Define characteristics of successful communication
  • Discuss strategies to decrease and remove provider-provider communication gaps. (IPASS, test result management)
  • Identify best practices in provider-patient communications (informed consent, empathy)

Continuing Medical Education

CRICO/Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


CRICO/RMF designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.5 AMA PRA Category I CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


This activity is designed to be suitable for 6.5 hours of Risk Management study in Massachusetts.