The Dark Ages of Clinical Communication

The Dark Ages of Clinical Communication

As Halloween rapidly approaches, I’m reminded of previous years visiting a variety of Houses of Horrors. You know, those mazes filled with strobe lights, fake blood, and a bunch of costumed baddies ready to scare the hell out of you? And as you cautiously move from room to room there’s one element that is always a constant, no matter the experience’s theme.


Torture goes back to the dawn of civilization, but perhaps no other time period is more associated with torture than the Dark Ages. Thumbscrews. The Rack. The Iron Maiden.

Don’t look that last one up. Just trust me. It’s bad.

Fast forward to the modern, tech savvy, internet age of the 21st century and torture should be a thing of the past, right? Well, for the majority of physicians, nurses, and other caregivers in the healthcare industry, they are still tortured every single day, but the torture they face is less gruesome as the methods mentioned above.

It’s the torture of tedious toil.

Instead of the Rack, it’s the Whiteboard. Instead of the Iron Maiden, it’s the fax machine.

And the worst offender of all is the pager.

A Care Team Communication Renaissance

Much like the Dark Ages ended with the dawn of the Renaissance, so too is clinical communication moving away from an era of antiquated devices based on decades old technology and moving toward a system of action that brings modern care team communication into the 21st century.

Mary Washington Healthcare moved away from pagers when they realized they needed a solution that would alleviate the torture of miscommunication and delayed response. It was that type of thinking and implementation that helped them to be named one of the most wired hospitals in the nation. To discover firsthand how Mary Washington is making change happen, check out this short video.

Just like the ideals and new thinking of the Renaissance spread from Florence and other city states of medieval Italy, so too will modern clinical communication practices spread from facilities like Mary Washington throughout the healthcare industry as more hospitals and health centers choose a new way to work together in the best interest of their patients.

But if you still want to experience those tortuous scares, we’ll still have haunted houses to look forward to.

Happy Halloween!