Free «Planned Communication within a Health Care Setting» Essay

Planned Communication within a Health Care Setting

Introduction

Communication is a crucial element of any form of society. In social institutions, poor means of communication may lead to undelivered information or misguided interpretations (Barry, Gordon, & King, 2015). Therefore, efficient communication is vital for adequate and high quality provision of services. Health provision industry is not behind in backlogging of information that has sometimes led to forged diagnosis and wrong prescriptions. Therefore, incorporation of an efficient and quality communication strategy is imperative to the improvement of health services as it helps control the escalating number of people dying due to broken communication between patients and health care providers.

Background

Synthesis of Primary and Secondary Research

There is a considerable number of medical errors that result from broken communication in the process of health provision. Research conducted in the US last year concluded that ten percent of patient did not take their full dosage of medicine due misconceptions on the prescription of the drugs. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in America 44,000 to 98,000 patients die every year because of medical errors (Hefner & McAlearney, 2014). These are disturbing statistics and, therefore, it is essential to ensure strategic communication within a hospital.

Background Information on the Health Industry

Health and social care systems are very important institutions of the modern society. The process of caregiving is a vital process that supports the health status of the society as a whole. In health care institutions, there are numerous interactions that take place every minute either among the caregivers, nurses, doctors, and other technicians (Cunha, 2007). Another critical communication process takes place between nurses or physicians and patients. It is the most important communication process because it determines how the care is provided to the patients, as the communication forms the basis for quality health care process.

External Environment

Medical care centers statistics demonstrate that there are unfortunate cases of health provision misconceptions among people (Collins, 2009). Various factors may hinder patients from attending health centers in the United States including religion and culture. Notably, there is a significant number of youths refusing to seek medical help from medical experts due to drug abuse that has led to ignorance.

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Client

When a patient spends 2 to 3 days in a hospital, he or she may interact with more than 20 hospital employees, especially nurses. Since most of these situations involve passing information to the patient, critical information regarding the health status of the patient must be given accurately. Such process raises concerns about implementing efficient communication strategy. When communication is not done properly, the patients are at risk of either being misdiagnosed or given wrong medication.

Issue

Communication lapse in the provision of health services is an alarming problem. For example, when a doctor is giving instructions to nurses regarding the type of medicine to administer to a patient and there is poor communication, the nurse might misinterpret the information leading to misdiagnosis. Other problems that may be caused by poor communication or lack of teamwork among hospital workers include delays in patient treatment, in the case of surgeries; there may be wrong-site surgeries and post-operation treatment failures (Keating, McDermott, & Montgomery, 2013). All these cases may cause more harm to the patient rather than healing them while in some cases it may even lead to death.

 
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Therefore, the aspect of effective communication has become a critical issue of current debates regarding modern health care practices, and the best solution is to plan the communication processes properly. Following the emphasis on patient safety in these debates, medical errors are now declining because more and more health caregivers are embracing the responsibility of ensuring patient safety (Collins, 2009). Most hospitals in the United States are reported to have a poor communication plan and thus deliver poor services to the patients.

Market Analysis and Segmentation Study

In a recent address, President Obama declared that over 10 million uninsured Americans have now been covered after the Affordable Care Act was enacted. The improved insurance coverage has come to improve service delivery in the health industry in the US, creating more opportunities for growth. A report recently released by PwC states that 67% of CEOs in America support that in today’s economy there are greater opportunities for growth than three years ago since the health industry is experiencing the lowest inflation and more income from the newly insured (PWC, 2016). Therefore, hospitals across the US have the opportunity to invest heavily in best communication strategies that will see them rise to the top due to quality services.

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Staffing, Facilities, and Intervening Publics

Staffing of the hospitals is in the United States is considerably lower among public health care providers. The ratio of doctors to patient is demanding. Most of the available facilities are inefficient and thus cannot cope with the rising number of patients seeking medical attention in either private or public health facilities. However, the government has made significant step towards addressing the problems although they are yet to be wiped out. Therefore, there is a need to have a proper plan that can use the scarce resources to address health problems, because effective communication can be imperative.

Situation Analysis

Although the United States has the most intricate machines for treatment in the world and its health system is rated as the best, the citizens’ health status level is still low. Medical errors and hospital infections are today’s top causes of avoidable deaths in America. For example, according to a report by NCBI, almost 200,000 Americans die from medical errors and hospital infections. The health challenge is still relevant in the United States. According to a report by CNN, there is still a shortage of primary healthcare workers in the US and if the current shortage continues health workers shortage is projected to reach 20,400 by 2020. Much needs to be done to prevent this (Gupta, 2015). However, there are opportunities to boost the current system to cover as many citizens as possible. Research has it that proper health strategies need to be implemented to improve the effectiveness of health care provision. The Obama Care Plan is one of the strategies that has boosted health insurance among Americans in the last decade (Keating, McDermott, & Montgomery, 2013).

The success of the health industry in the United States is still at great risk due to changing trends in the health industry. The changes are inimical to the growing use of technology in the health industry. For example, drug abuse has risen drastically in the United States leading to irresponsible behavior, thus increasing sexually transmitted infections among the youths (Zaccaro, Marks, & DeChurch, 2012). Moreover, rising cases of lifestyle disease in the United States are a great threat to the health industry.

Core Opportunity

IT provides a crucial opportunity for providing closer control of healthcare provision by providing better and more accurate communication. However, since the concept of health care has become more dynamic, patients now expect more than just administering medication when deciding which hospital to visit. If a hospital does not adopt this modern form of communication it will lose a competitive advantage over other institutions given that competition in the healthcare market has become very stiff nowadays.

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Goals and Objectives

The ultimate goal of incorporating IT in the communication process between doctors and patients is to achieve high-quality health care.

By creating proper communication channels between a doctor and a patient several objectives that will be achieved. Some of these objectives are;

  • Minimizing cases of medical errors during the actual administering of medication to patients in a hospital. Information is backed up by machine-generated results so the results are more accurate. Therefore, if cases of misdiagnosis due to poor communication are low, then patients will have faith in the quality of care in the hospital.
  • Improved patient engagement ­ when patients clearly understand their conditions through continuous follow ups by nurses and doctors then the patients will be more willing to take part in the healing process. Recent research shows that patients only remember about 40% of the instructions given (Keating, McDermott & Montgomery, 2013), and, therefore, if they are given a machine generated medication process it would be easier for them to follow the process.
  • Timely service delivery ‑ when doctors can give nurses instructions straight from their office the process is much faster compared to when they have to physically deliver instructions. Besides, doctors can handle more patients within a given period. The patient results are sent electronically to the nurses thereby allowing them to administer the drugs to the patients at the right time.
  • Improved interaction with the social workers ­ improved communication channels also support improved interactions making the hospital a more conducive environment for the social workers. If the working environment is good, then workers are motivated to provide better care.
  • Smooth or efficient service delivery ­ quick communication means quick actions; therefore, the process of service delivery runs smoothly throughout the hospital. Patient treatment goes through several stages right from the time they come in through the hospital door, so with efficient communication the patients can understand the process better and be served more efficiently.

Big Idea

    Communication is at the heart of effective and efficient healthcare delivery in any hospital.

  • Incorporates Information Technology in the provision of health services in the United States.
  • Effective communication for good health.
  • Banner of a doctor consulting a patient.
  • Let’s communicate to be healthy.

Key Publics

The key publics for this kind of a situation are the surrounding community members, health workers, and the patients themselves.

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Patients

The objective of sharing this information with patients is to prevent aggravated rate of infections within the hospital. The objective of using the patient in the planned communication is to prevent the spread of the infection. The spread of the disease happens within the hospital and the communication should help patients understand the causes and avoid them. A viable communication channel with the patients is through direct interactions with nurses and posters in their respective wards. Communication is most essential to patients that are admitted to the hospital as well as those sharing operating machines.

Surrounding Community Members

Community members are notified to make sure that the disease does not start spreading outside the hospital. Surrounding community plays a crucial role when it comes to spreading any health related information from the hospital to the community at large (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). Objectives of the community members are to duplicate the efforts of the doctors at the hospital are make sure the disease is contained. Community leaders and religious leaders are best suited to spread the information to the rest of the community members. Moreover, community members who are part of management have better opportunities to convey the message. A video clip or a news coverage about the outbreak would efficiently spread the message because the Internet offers the best opportunities.

Top Management

The purpose of notifying top management is to lobby for additional facilitation with more equipment and medication for the disease. Any policy applied in the hospital passes through the management and, therefore, a policy of emergency funding in cases of such outbreaks can only be actualized by the management. The objective of the management is financial intervention in the situation. A joint board meeting will be appropriate to communicate with hospital management.

Health Workers

The information is relevant to workers, because they can minimize the causing factors. For example, if the disease is spreading through contaminated water, they can use appropriate water treatment procedures to prevent it. A one week workshop for nurses and other workers within the hospital would have a great impact on communicating the threat of the disease. Nurses are the closest individuals to the patients. That is why they are best suited to interact and communicate any information regarding the infection. The time it takes to put the infection under control depends on effective communication with relevant individuals.

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Messages

Primary Messages

Workers. The message for the workers is to explain the required steps to neutralize the spread of the disease and to support doctors in treating the patients who are already affected.

Patients. The message explains the ways to protect themselves from contracting the disease and the symptoms of the disease so that if anyone has them, they can come out for treatment.

Management. The message should come as a proposal for funding so that the management can provide financial support to the hospital, which would accelerate .

Society. Educating the community comes as a way to keep them alert and explain the best methods of preventing the disease from spreading. For example, if it is the water at the hospital that is contaminated, any other place sharing the same source should be kept out of bounds of the community members.

Secondary Message

These should include pictures of the physical symptoms of the disease and the procedures for treatment clearly illustrated using symbols or actual pictures. All this helps provide the needed proof to those who have not seen an actual sick person. The best secondary message is a video clip of an interview with one of infected patients explaining all the bad effects of the disease. Considering current technological advancements, sharing and spreading such information has become very easy.

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Strategies

Openness. The aim is to ensure that the information is delivered in a manner that does not contain a hidden agenda. Therefore, there is a significant need to ensure that all parameters of communication are understood by the intended audience.

Flexibility. This will ensure that the message is delivered in a manner that best suits the situation and the intended audience.

Clarity. Management needs the message to be clear, thereby helping them make the decision easily. On the other hand, the clarity of the message will ensure that all relevant parties are fully aware of their responsibilities towards ensuring that the demanded realignments by the primary message/communication are met. 

Tools

Face-to-Face. Sharing information is more effective when done face-to-face on the hospital premises. This will ensure that the message is directed to the concerned parties in a manner that best reaches them.

Chats. This tool can also be of help in ensuring that the information at hand is delivered in a manner that is inclusive, meaning that even those who cannot spend a long time reading can have chat representation of the same information.

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Videos. Outside of the hospital, a video documenting the disease can be shared through any of the current social media platforms. Therefore, employing all these communication strategies ensures efficient and effective interaction within a hospital setupю

Conclusion

It is evident that for improved healthcare delivery to be guaranteed effective communication must be present. Besides, effective communication is an inclusive engagement that needs all relevant players to be actively involved. To ensure that the communication impact is achieved, different strategies must be utilized on different audiences to expand the reach of the message at hand. Finally, incorporation of an efficient, high quality communication strategy is imperative to the improvement of health services.

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