The 2019 health care event was a gathering of intelligent professionals who shared a love for making healthcare communication better. Clinicians, researchers, and educators were present in one of the most awaited events of the year. There were discussions and presentations about strategies and tools that help improve communication among the health sectors and healthcare professionals. Most, if not all, attendees agreed that the programs were outstanding and very enriching even for the medical professionals that were there to share their knowledge and experience.
Below is a portion of what was discussed during the healthcare event on the strategies that patients and healthcare professionals can use to improve communication.
Constructive communication between healthcare professionals and patients is vital for the success of any healthcare sector. The Managed Healthcare Executive reports that over 80% of healthcare professionals agree that improving communication between these two parties is key to enhancing patient care quality. If there is no effective communication from healthcare professionals, the workplace environment loses positivity, and patient care quality is decreased. Finding ways to improve communication among everyone concerned will improve the environment for both the patients and the entire healthcare team.
Here are some strategies to try to help improve communication in your healthcare sector.
- Integrate constructive communication in your sector’s obligatory training program. It is difficult to expect the staff to talk with the patients effectively if they were not trained on how to do just that. So when it’s time obligatory training sessions, teach them how to ask questions that would give clarity to the given situation. Assess the patients’ emotions and opinions and encourage them to talk while you listen, not always the other way around. Successful communication involves both parties to talk, listen, and discuss better solutions.
- Remember to instill communication into your sector’s culture. Sooner than later, you will learn that it is not just enough to tell your staff about the essence of communication. You will have to show them how to communicate effectively. When heads of an organization or sector practice what they preach and show their team the appropriate way to communicate with their patients, they will be moved and engaged to follow it. Employee feedback and assessment is one way of also seeing if your team has been dealing with their patients with respect and empathy. These values are needed to achieve successful communication. Those with high scores in their evaluations should be rewarded.
- Have regular employee meetings. Professional development is vital for excellent communication skills. Schedule monthly meetings with your employees, so the whole team is updated on how the sector is going so far in terms of performance and productivity. This is an appropriate time to discuss the surveys and evaluations from patients, including the aspects that are strong and weak in your department. This is also a chance for your staff to voice out their opinions and insights regarding workplace environment and real-world situations that you might not have thought about.
- Perform patient satisfaction surveys. Getting feedback from patients allows you to learn about how patient experience can be further enhanced. These surveys help identify the reasons for disagreements, questions, or complaints. In addition, patients giving feedback can shed light on whether or not your staff is doing what they’re supposed to on the ‘floor.’
- Take advantage of technology when necessary. Healthcare units are now obliged to log in patient information into a digital system. Team leaders and their staff must be knowledgeable in utilizing these systems appropriately so that pertinent patient data is accurate, accessible, and made confidential.
Successful communication begins at the bottom up and is supported by professionals who must lead by example. By strengthening a foundation of sensible and effective communication at all levels, your healthcare sector will ultimately be able to provide quality patient care.