Practicing Closed-loop Communication

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Communication Basics for Laboratory Leaders. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Practicing Closed-loop Communication

Used early on in military radio transmissions, the idea of closed-loop communication was to ensure a message was received and received correctly. Common in both military and healthcare settings, closed-loop communication can be used in any setting in which it is important to:
  • initiate a message
  • confirm a message was received and interpreted correctly
  • provide feedback or follow-up to the message
In a laboratory setting, closed-loop communication can be used for patient safety events, non-conforming events, employee engagement and satisfaction, and laboratory protocols such as calling back critical alert values and confirming patient identification.
Closed-loop communication helps to mitigate the human error in relaying and receiving information.