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Could Emotional Intelligence Make Patients Safer?

Codier, Estelle MSN, RN; Codier, David D. BSN, RHSO

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: July 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 7 - p 58–62
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520946.39224.db
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The vast majority of medical errors occurring each year involve faulty communication. For this reason, it's essential that we identify skills that support accurate communication and information transfer as well as optimum patient-centered care, team function, and patient safety. Research in nursing and other disciplines has demonstrated that emotional intelligence abilities improve communication, support constructive conflict resolution, and improve individual and team performance. Although further studies are needed, these findings suggest emotional intelligence ability can positively affect patient safety.

The authors address how emotional intelligence–which refers to our ability to recognize and manage both our emotions and the emotions of others–may be a skill that can help nurses to “error proof” communication in the health care setting.

Estelle Codier is an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, in Honolulu. David D. Codier is the director of Environmental Health and Safety, Banner Health System, Mesa, AZ. Contact author: Estelle Codier, codier@hawaii.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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