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Keywords:

  • collaboration;
  • communication;
  • patient safety;
  • physician-nurse relations;
  • quality of care;
  • team building

This case report presents specific steps taken to address potential patient safety problems, particularly those regarding collaboration between nurses and house staff at The George Washington University Hospital. Issues affecting patient care (e.g., lack of communication and teamwork) were identified through interviews, focus groups, and observations. The actions taken were team-building meetings that included a sensitivity session; coaching with nursing managers; and ground rules for nurse and physician collaboration. This report also describes the agenda for the team-building meetings, results, and lessons learned for implementation at other sites.