How To Drive Effective Communication Between Healthcare Staff & Patients?

Healthcare as a field is pivotal, especially more than ever with a worldwide pandemic hovering over us. But, the one aspect that is extremely important is effective communication in healthcare. Let’s understand what ways can be used for the same: 

Effective Communication in Healthcare: An overview

Let’s start by understanding what effective communication in healthcare entails. It refers to crisp, clear and time-bound communication between healthcare professionals. This communication is required to make accurate diagnoses as well as to ensure that the treatments provided are appropriate. It is also crucial to guarantee that the patients understand the health status, treatment procedures, diagnosis and medications extended by the health care professionals. 

It is also crucial for healthcare associates to have a clear understanding of the diagnoses and treatment measures. The following sections will cover the different ways to improve communication in healthcare: 

Ways to improve communication in healthcare

All of us are aware of the importance of communication in healthcare. But, to drive it better, here are some strategies you can adopt: 

1. Analyze the healthcare communication measure you are using currently

Instead of hopping on to new measures of communication, the best way to ensure effective communication in healthcare is by first recognizing where the organization may be faltering. Get an idea of your current efforts. A detailed look at the process involving how a message is being passed, how healthcare material is being coordinated, can really help you fill the gap. Only after you successfully assess the current communication, you can figure out what step to do next. You can go for a gap analysis to determine how you can improve your strategy for healthcare communication. 

2. Encourage use of proper software and tools for mobile communication between employees

Healthcare as a field has not gone on pause even for a moment, but we all are aware of its dynamism. A lot of coordination is required across locations and for this, having handy tools can help. Especially, when it comes to communication with patients, it is important to have an application that keeps them updated and keeps the healthcare professionals accessible. Additionally, doctors and their staff can stay in contact and have a structure set for updates. Gone are the days of pagers, where emergencies used to be communicated through a beep. Now, with so many different ways of communication; we surely can drive more efficiency in healthcare by using conventional tools. 

3. Ensure that you keep a check on how your employees are keeping up with new measures

While you can still afford to falter in different fields as it may result in monetary loss, by not acknowledging the importance of communication in healthcare, there can be loss of lives. Hence, it’s important to keep a check on how your employees are dealing with the new updates and changes. If you introduce a new process or try to get them oriented to a new app, ensure that you also collect feedback. Additionally, have a grievance redressal system because a lack of proper communication can impact your patients very severely. While the new systems are easy to adopt, it can result in a huge problem in case your employee is in a time-sensitive situation and unaware of how to manoeuvre the system. Lastly, ensure that you have a backup for technical problems such as network issues. Extend proper training to your workforce on the chosen Team Communication App. Having proper internet connectivity and a standby mode of communication is very crucial in the healthcare field. 

4. Try giving face-to-face communication more of a priority for healthcare communication

We understand that in the current situation, people being in each other’s vicinity all the time is not viable. However, in sensitive situations, having access to video calls can help immensely. When it comes to nonverbal communication, you can make out the nervousness and panic and help calm down your colleague who may be dealing with a severe health emergency at the time. So, we recommend that you encourage video calling between the team so that there is no blockage in the communication at all. 

5. Set a structure and streamline the channels you use

The one thing that you need to ensure is that all professional talks are done properly through one channel only to make sure there is no scope of error in healthcare communication. Make it clear to your employees that you need to use one software for team communication. Avoid using personal messengers for communication between teammates as this can hamper the health of the patient and use a dedicated Team Communication App instead. So, we recommend that you set a proper process and make it easier for your employees to understand and adapt to it. 

Closing lines...

With the aforementioned measures, you can drive much better communication in healthcare that can improve operational efficiency as well as save lives. Effective communication in healthcare is not a strategy, but a requisite which can help organizations run better operations and help society as a whole.