Why CommiSur?

CommiSur is, of course, Communication in Surgery. Our lab focuses on the various communication processes in surgical care, both between children, families/caregivers and their providers, and within interprofessional care teams.

But CommiSur is also a misspelled commissure

– a connection, bridge, joint between 2 related parts of our anatomy: lips, spinal cord, cerebral hemispheres. Our lab is intentionally situated at the “commissures” in surgical care.

At the commissure between families and surgical providers we are exploring the risk communication process taking place whenever a key surgical decision needs to be made, but also along the entire “journey of surgery”. We explore this space by identifying patient-valued outcomes, communication preferences, and care experiences following surgical procedures in children. We also attempt to modulate and ultimately improve doctor-patient (family-healthcare team, really) communication by exploring technology applications (mobile communication tools and AI). Our ultimate aim is to move communication from its imprecise, inadequate, and one-size-fits-all format into personalized communication tailored to each patient, and ultimately, into precision communication.

At the commissure between various surgical team members we explore the communication processes within interprofessional trauma teams in action. We explore actual and theoretical team communication patterns, aiming to distill the findings into formal communication modules to be incorporated into trauma courses.

And at the commissure between communication and technology, across both major communication domains above, we endeavor to innovate technologically through novel applications of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. This includes machine learning algorithms for rendering risk communication more precise, and virtual and augmented reality for creating low-cost, remotely deliverable immersive simulations for trauma team communication.

Throughout our explorations of communication, both between patients and providers and within teams, we are committed to disseminate our results seamlessly to students and trainees – building a new generation of good healthcare communicators.