Effective Communication in Healthcare
Effective communication in healthcare is crucial considering that the wellness and health of patients depends greatly on it.
On the other hand, the impact of ineffective communication between healthcare providers, healthcare providers and patients not only affects the patient’s experience negatively, but it can also contribute to financial loss for medical facilities as well as decrease workplace morale.
While improving communication is not something that will always happen instantly, healthcare practitioners must do everything within their power to alleviate stress for themselves and their patients as well as reduce miscommunication in healthcare settings.
Here are some of the ways that you can use to guarantee the seamless flow of communication in your line of work as a healthcare provider.
1. Evaluate Your Existing Method of Communication
Before attempting to improve communication, you want to evaluate your current efforts. As a worker in the healthcare sector, you know how crucial it is to make potentially fatal and costly mistakes.
Look out for any noticeable gaps in your communication that seem to result in mistakes and take a comprehensive inventory of what you think works and what does not.
Once you do that, you want to ask for feedback and set up an internal communication strategy accordingly.
For instance, it is good practice to allow your colleagues and patients to have a voice, consider their feedback, and make changes accordingly.
To improve communication, you have to have a listening ear.
2. Restructure Communication Channels
As a healthcare worker, there are protocols that you have to adhere to. However, as you evaluate your existing state of communication, remember to look for ways that you can use to streamline your channels.
Ideally, communication should be simple but it can also easily turn to be complicated and convoluted. Because of that, you want to certify that your communication remains secure and confidential.
In so doing, you get to skip some unnecessary steps that are usually time-consuming to navigate and confusing. Ultimately, most of your communication can happen in a single and simple mobile-friendly interface.
3. Adopt Remote Collaboration
In modern-day healthcare, pagers play an important role when it comes to communication and while these devices offer an effective way of alerting people to return calls, they are not practical or effective as far as conducting conversations is concerned.
You also realize that most healthcare practitioners do not consider emails as their main channel of communication.
As such, you want to encourage and facilitate peer-to-peer, bottom-up, and top-down communication through something like a mobile team message app.
In case you are concerned about professionalism, putting in place a bring your own device (BYOD) or a Code of Conduct Policy will make your expectations clear without affecting factors like management.
In this era of technology where the majority of the population in the US own a smartphone, it is advisable to encourage its utilization in healthcare settings for live messaging.
After all, most healthcare workers spend a significant amount of time on their phones anyway.
Keeping up to date with healthcare automation is also critical for effective communication in healthcare.
4. Allow Healthcare Workers to Have a Voice
Communication between staff members is likely to improve when they feel that their input at the workplace is valued. While your commuting from your home to the workplace and vice versa may be minimal, the opposite may be true for your colleagues.
In that regard, you want to give everyone the same opportunity to express their wants, needs, concerns irrespective of how much you interact with them.
If healthcare workers feel like they are being disregarded or that they don’t have a voice at their workplaces, communication is negatively affected and this can trickle down to how they provide services to patients.
5. Encourage Face-To-Face Communication
Granted, technology continues to advance which is a good thing but is important to recognize the value of communicating face-to-face.
In-person encounters are vital when it comes to fostering effective communication between health caregivers and patients. However, such meetings are not always met with gusto seeing as health workers often feel overworked and they have to deal with stressful and devastating situations most of the time.
Regardless, you want to take any chance you get to have a face-to-face encounter with patients count. Remember to maintain eye contact and generally be present in the conversation. This will do a lot in establishing effective communication between the two of you.
Communication is critical in healthcare so getting it wrong could mean a downhill spiral for you as a health practitioner and your patients as well. These seemingly simple tactics will help you have a fulfilling relationship with both co-workers and patients.