Ensuring the patient’s safety in hospitals and health care institutions take more than making the diagnosis and performing procedures. Communication is the key to provide smooth operations and proper care in the health care sectors. Be it a clinic sharing patient’s data with another facility or a team of medical practitioners at a hospital discussing a patient’s conditions, proper communication is vital.
Medical institutions with strong communication policies are more likely to enrich patients’ health quality. Whereas organizations, where communication is non-existent, will negatively impact their patients’ overall health. Thus, recognizing the essentiality of effective communication and communication experts in healthcare is crucial for hospitals to thrive. And the need for effective and concise communication is present at all times in the medical field.
Why Communication Experts Are Important To the Healthcare Industry
According to a study published by Fierce Healthcare, 1744 patients have lost their lives, whereas more than 1.7 billion dollars have been on malpractices in America over the past five years. These staggering figures show the importance of communication experts in hospitals to benefit both the patients and the practitioners.
Effective communication could be intra-hospital or inter-hospital. It serves by helping healthcare providers save in costs, protect their patients, and increase day-to-day operating efficiency. Meanwhile, it also helps the patients benefit from enhanced access to their medical data and history, which decreases the chances of medical errors. An online master’s in communication could help a medical professional with the right knowledge & skills without disrupting his/her practice schedule.
Focus On Patient Safety
The primary duty of communication experts is to ensure the patient’s safety. Creating an effective communication structure within a healthcare organization is to prioritize the patients’ health quality. The lack of communication experts in a hospital or a clinic leads to inadequate communication between the practitioners working in a team, which is a leading cause of hospital deaths. A retrospective review in a study published in Clinical Biochemist Review in 2006 showed that ineffective communication to be the cause of 14,000 in-hospital deaths, twice as prevalent as errors caused by inadequate clinical skills.
Communication errors can result in irreversible consequences. However, fixing them is relatively easy and requires little effort. It means that they can stop deaths caused by the absence of communication experts. This fact alone shows how crucial is communication for the patients’ safety.
Intra-Hospital and Inter-Hospital Communication
Intra-hospital and Inter-hospital are the two types of communication methods used in the healthcare industry and ensure the effective exchange of views to treat patients better.
This kind of communication involves the transfer of information between multiple sites or departments. It includes the sharing of information amongst facilities owned by one organization or between separate healthcare entities. Transporting patients from one department to another, sharing medical records, and movement if vital medical equipment comes under Inter-hospital communication.
However, medical institutions encounter several hurdles in Inter-hospital communication. A study carried out by the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems discovered that ineffective inter-hospital communication costs over 12 billion dollars to the healthcare sector annually. The costs rise due to the prevention of accessing the patient’s medical data because of improper communication, which results in the creation of fake or duplicate files.
Personnel working in the hospital also faces obstacles in communication within the same organization. Intra-hospital communication is the transmission of data within a singular hospital. It includes coordinating room changes, assigning further tests, scheduling operations, or setting up appointments. When communication experts are not present, the doctors and staff, which comprises nurses and assistants, cannot effectively share the information due to cumbersome responsibilities. Thus, it results in unnecessary costs and danger to patients. Due to ineffective direct communication, the patient’s data cannot reach the doctors and results in improper diagnosis and thus relevantly inappropriate treatment. Moreover, a lack of procedural coordination results in serious medical errors and can lead to intra-hospital deaths.
How Communication Experts Ensure Effective and Direct Communication
Your communication skills need to be stellar to drive out the possibilities of medical errors and costs. Although good communication skills are required by all healthcare professionals, expecting from them to ensure effective communication is not enough.
Besides communication, the second primary reason behind the unpredictable deaths within the hospitals is the mal-practices. Doctors working in teams never intend to perform mal-practices. However, the burdening amount of responsibility upon their shoulders can lead them to falter while performing their duty. Hence, hiring communication experts and assigning them the sole task of drafting effective communication policies and ensuring their implementation can enhance the medical institutions’ overall efficiency and eliminate medical malpractices’ chances.
Good communication is crucial when discussing diagnosis, procedures, patient’s needs, and pertinent information, including the patient’s history and sensitivities. Inefficient communication leaves a void in the patient’s care during shift changes and moving facilities. Moreover, with the responsibility of the patient comes the burden of dealing with the family members. If an institution lacks communication experts, it will face many obstacles when informing the family members of the patient’s condition. Qualities such as empathy, understanding, and compassion are required to deal with the patients and the family. It could be a lot to ask from a medical practitioner at times, considering the emotional stress. Therefore, programmed professionals to possess such qualities and deal with individuals can help keep the atmosphere calm within an organization.