Effective communication saves lives

Join a panel of experts from across ANU to find out how we're addressing communications issues in healthcare.

In Australia alone it is estimated that 500,000 people per year are harmed by the hospitals they go to for help, that is, they suffer from an avoidable or preventable critical incident caused by something in the hospital. When these incidents are investigated over 90% are found to have a communication failure component—these can be misunderstandings between patients and clinicians, for example with diagnosis or treatment options or illegible patient records, or for omissions and failures to clarify ambiguities and confusions in the handover process. Hundreds of patients we have interviewed say they don’t feel heard, they often don’t understand what is being said to them and all too frequently they are not even part of the conversation about what’s happening to them.

The problem around the world is getting worse. Never has communication about health been more important, from the news in the media to the hospital bedside.

Join a panel of experts from across ANU to find out about their multidisciplinary and innovative approach to addressing this issue and by doing so improving the quality and safety of patient care.


Panel facilitator:

Professor Paul Pickering, Director, Research School of the Humanities and the Arts


Panel participants:

Professor Diana Slade, Director, the ANU Institute for Communication in Health Care (ICH)


Professor Imogen Mitchell, Director, ANU Medical School, Intensive Care Specialist, Canberra Hospital, Medical Director, ACT COVID19 Response, Canberra Health Services


Professor Zsuzsoka Kecskes, Professor, Acting Director, ANU Medical School, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Neonatology


Professor Christine Phillips AM - Professor, Social Foundations of Medicine, ANU Medical School; Medical Director, Companion House Refugee Medical Service; Director, HealthANSWER


Dr Susy Macqueen, Senior Lecturer, Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, ANU School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics


Associate Professor Hanna Suominen, Computer Science, College of Engineering & Computer Science

Date & time

5–6pm 26 Aug 2020


Zoom webinar

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing