25 May 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm



The role of health communication in patient safety and quality of care

Communication in health care is a major quality and safety issue. Every day in Australian hospitals, miscommunication causes avoidable critical incidents - patients die, are harmed or receive the wrong treatment because of ineffective communication, for example during handovers or diagnosis.

Consumers Health Forum (CHF) and the Australian National University (ANU) Institute for Communication in Health Care (ICH) are co-hosting this webinar on the role of communication in health care and patient safety.

Research into organisational and interpersonal communication in key care settings and at care transition points is time critical.

Pressure on the Australian health system is likely to grow as demands increase, particularly for those with multiple morbidities, and as COVID-19 continues to evolve.

CHF is a leading advocate on patient safety and quality health care for all Australians. ICH is an internationally recognised research institute bringing together clinician, healthcare communication researchers and patient to conduct world-class translational research in healthcare communication. Together with the ICH, we are hosting this webinar as a valuable precursor to a roundtable discussion later in the year. The aim of the webinar and roundtable are to raise awareness of recent research in health communication and the importance of healthcare communication for safe high quality care.

The webinar will cover the following presentations:

Diana Slade: “Patient and carer inclusion in clinical handover: translational communication research”

Carmel Crock, Mary Dahm and Maureen Williams: “Safer diagnosis through better communication - The way ahead”

Imogen Mitchell: “End of Life Care Across Australia” 

Presenters and panelists

Professor Diana Slade

Professor Slade is a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Australian National University and the Director of the ANU Institute for Communication in Health Care. She is an academic researcher and educator in health communication, linguistics, description of spoken English, organisational communication and translational research design. Professor Slade has over 30 years of experience in researching, teaching and publishing in applied linguistics, linguistics and organizational communication.

Associate Professor Carmel Crock OAM

Associate Professor Carmel Crock OAM is the Director of the Emergency Department at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Fellow at Macquarie University and Chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Quality and Patient Safety Committee. She is Chair of the Board of the new Australian New Zealand Affiliate to the US Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Dr Mary Dahm

Dr Mary Dahm is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Communication in Health Care (ICH) at the Australian National University. Mary is increasingly gaining international recognition for her drive to apply her unique skills and expertise to illuminate and improve vulnerable communicative processes in health care. Patient engagement and consumer-driven research activities are central to her work.

Maureen Williams

Maureen Williams is an experienced health consumer representative who has been advocating for patients’ voices for 42 years. More recently, she has been involved in health research as a consumer researcher. She is currently completing a Masters of Public Health and is a member of the ICH Consumer Reference Group.

Professor Imogen Mitchell

Professor Mitchell is Professor at the ANU Medical School, Executive Director of Research and Academic Partnerships at Canberra Health Services and Senior Intensive Care Specialist at the Canberra Hospital. Her research interests focus on hospital systems to improve management of deteriorating patient, hospital systems to improve end of life care in acute hospitals, patient safety systems and medical education.

Professor Anne Duggan

Professor Duggan is the Chief Medical Officer, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Professor Duggan is a highly respected gastroenterologist with significant operating and leadership experience in a range of healthcare settings. Professor Duggan is Chair of the new Australian Government Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Advisory Committee (MRAC) and is a member of the Expert Panel of Ahpra and Medical Board of Australia Review of the Regulation of Health Practitioners in Cosmetic Surgery.

Darlene Cox

Darlene Cox is the Executive Director of Health Care Consumers Association Inc. She is an experienced advocate and has been a consumer representative on a local and national level in health services and statutory bodies for over a decade.

Facilitated by

Leanne Wells

Leanne is CEO, Consumers Health Forum, and has held executive positions in federal government and non-government organisations. She has previously served as CEO of national peak and local service delivery organisations in the primary care sector. She is a health advocate and service executive with over thirty years’ experience in health and social policy, program, and service development. Leanne has broad governance experience and is currently Board Director of Coordinare (Southeast New South Wales’ Primary Health Network), the Ozhelp Foundation, and the Population Health Research Network.

Further information

If you would like further information, please contact Dr Penelope Bergen on email