Communication in healthcare is a crucial part of the day-to-day running of any hospital, medical centre, or walk-in centre. Whether you’re communicating with doctors, nurses, specialists, pharmacists, patients or the relatives of patients, you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Miscommunication can lead to problems, unfortunate situations, and accidents that could have been avoided through proper communication. Misunderstandings like this can incur large costs and can cause harm to patients.
Communication with other healthcare professionals
There are many people involved in healthcare, and sometimes things can get lost in translation. The failure to communicate can be caused by shift changes, a misunderstanding between skilled staff and those who are still learning, or a lack of organisation. Communication is the key to making sure that patients receive the best care. As well as face-to-face meetings, written and verbal communication, there are now platforms, like Halo Communications, that medical professionals can use to quickly and more efficiently communicate. This allows colleagues to share their thoughts and onions, and easily address any issues and rectify any situations faster. Teamwork and clear and simple communication will lead to a decreased risk of accidents or mistakes and less delays in patient care. Communication is an integral part of successfully managing any medical facility.
Important information relating to a patient could be forgotten if a digital or written record of it has not been made, which means that it could go overlooked by other medical professionals, e.g. if it has not been noted that a patient has an allergy to penicillin and someone administers it, it could cause the patient to go into anaphylaxis.
Communication with patients
It is important to listen to your patients and to get to know them. This way, your patients will feel cared for and be satisfied that their concerns have been listened to. Building a rapport with patients helps healthcare professionals to understand how they are feeling. While tests and technology can help doctors to understand patients’ illnesses, there are other things to consider. Patients may also give non-verbal cues as to how they are feeling, e.g. their body language could indicate that they are in pain, depressed, or unhappy, or they could be relaxed and comfortable. Communication will help you discover the ways in which you can fulfil the patient’s needs. Doctors’ failures to communicate with vulnerable patients can mean that illnesses may go undiagnosed and changes to the patient’s condition may go unnoticed.
The relatives of some patients like to know the status of their family member if they’re sick. They may not understand what a specialist or doctor means if they use complex medial terms, so they’ll need to break it down for them. Talking with the relatives of a patient means that they will be able to better look after the patient at home and will help them to understand the illness or condition of the patient. Keeping relatives in the loop and explaining things to them will give them peace of mind.
Image Credits: Natasha Spencer