Improving communication in hospitals is quite a challenge in the modern healthcare setup. Hospitals haven’t only grown in size but also diversity. The efficiency of information exchanged within any health facility can have a substantial impact on the wellness of patients.
Take, for example, nurses and physicians who are always on the move. These professionals need portable communication gadgets, otherwise, the whole process could be in jeopardy. With the number of elderly patients increasing, accurate communication is required now more than ever.
So, what are the best strategies that can be used to achieve the best possible communication process? Read on to learn more!
Assess The Current Method
Before you think about improving your healthcare communication, it’s important to assess the current methods first. Which technology are you using at the moment? What’re the pros and cons of the ongoing system based on the experiences within the hospital? Are there enough personnel to ensure that the structure runs smoothly? Are there any obvious gaps that should be bridged?
Honing in on these questions could provide answers that you need to get a good picture of your communication system. Healthcare is one of the most fragile sectors, and any simple mistake can lead to fatal outcomes. Therefore, it’s imperative you figure out all the players involved before making any changes to the established routine.
Since you’re not working in a vacuum, you’ll need to know what other people think of your proposed changes. Therefore, as soon as you complete the assessment, make sure you allow your staff to voice their opinions. This way, you’ll have an idea of what works best for everyone. Also, your employees will feel valued, appreciated and heard by the organization.
Streamline Communication Channels
Communication is simple when done correctly. However, in big and diverse organizations, communicating can become complicated and convoluted. Healthcare, for instance, doesn’t only involve people in the field of medicine. Professionals from various specialties come together to make the industry a success.
With that in mind, it’s important to have a stable system that meets the needs of each and every employee, regardless of their specialization. Streamlining your communication channels simply means doing away with unnecessary steps and making each step as straightforward as possible.
Remember, extra steps in the process are the ones that make the system as a whole quite complicated. For instance, email is useful but it doesn’t have to be involved in every branch of communication. Your system can focus on mobile-friendly interfaces and only use emails to send weekly notifications or other official content that can’t be sent by other means.
Secure Patient Data
Of course, healthcare communication isn’t only about exchanging information between healthcare providers. Patients are also an important part of the system, and their needs should be considered before any decision is made.
First, it’s worth noting that good patient-doctor communication is built on trust. When doctors can reassure their patients that their data is confidential and well-secured, patients may feel comfortable enough to share intimate information. With a solid foundation stabilized, doctors or physicians can find it easier to carry out diagnostic procedures and offer their subsequent services.
Therefore, the main focus as a healthcare facility should be to secure your patient’s data and build a good reputation. To achieve this, you’ll need to invest in modern information technology and hire highly experienced personnel in that area.
Encourage Face-To-Face Communication
Communication by phone is a lot easier when you know and understand who you’re talking to. Implementing modern technology in your healthcare facility is a great move, but you need to move one step at a time. Unless the users have already met in person, using mobile phones or text messages shouldn’t be a part of the plan, especially when discussing crucial matters.
So, what’s the importance of face-to-face communcation? Well, one thing about remote communication methods is that none of the parties can conclusively read the emotions of the other. Of course, tonal variation can give you a hint, but such methods mask a lot of feelings and reactions. As such, they can easily lead to a misunderstanding.
Therefore, as a health facility, you should always encourage all the employees to have physical meetings whenever possible. This way, you’ll cultivate a group of active listeners who won’t hesitate to practice active listening when working with colleagues and patients.
As they say, communication is the key to any successful organization, and healthcare facilities are no exception. If you’re looking to improve your current system, you should start by doing an assessment and see if any loopholes should be fixed.
One of the benefits of modern technology is the convenience of communication options in the workplace. However, you should still encourage people to prioritize face-to-face communications for better results. Physical meetings still have a lot of benefits as compared to virtual ones.