Effective Communication: Review

Introduction

Effective communication refers to a situation in which a person can express his/ herself either verbally or non-verbally in the best way possible. This means that it is acceptable to both the culture and situation in that particular society. Effective communication entails giving the right information at the right time. Right information in this case means that it is accurate and unambiguous. It should be complete and easy to understand.

Effective communication is crucial in healthcare workplaces. Communication failure in these organizations has been recorded to cause serous medical errors that have caused pain and harm to people involved including patients and their families as well as the doctors. This is especially in public hospitals where communication is taken for granted. Promoting effective communication among healthcare professionals is very important. This will translate to “boundary less” environment in which every one is aware of what is happening around them and what they are supposed to do at a given time (Donald, et al. 2007).

Methods of Effective Communication

Our Healthcare organization uses a variety of effective methods in order to reduce medical errors. Structured communication methods are one such method. Structured tools of communication ensure that there is briefings made concerning patient transfer form one health facility to another. In such a case the health professionals involved are aware of the kind of medication the patient had received and thus knows the steps to take. In addition, briefings are required in situations such as before and after surgery. In addition, effective communication also entail negotiation and active listening in which the parties involved are able to reason together by allowing each member to air out their voices (Williams, et al. 2010).

Signposting is an effective communication tool in our healthcare organization. It is effective because it is used to address both the staff and the members of the public. Signposts are physical signs that are mostly used to indicate direction. This method of communication is efficient in our organization because it helps patient to find help in relation to their problems. For instance, if a patient comes in and is not familiar with the place he/she will use signpost to locate the professionals he/she would like to consult. Moreover signpost is useful when no one is in a position to communicate effectively such as in cases of emergency. For example in case of fire outbreak, the signposts are used to show way out of the building and assembly point.

Our organizational culture enhances effective communication. It allows for open channels of delivering information while maintaining transparency and trust among staff. To deliver quality information, the leadership of the organization ensures effective flow of information in the organization.

Ineffective Communication

Ineffective communication is seen when the healthcare system fail to take into consideration the issue of culture. Hospitals attract people of different cultures. Communication should thus accommodate different cultures from different backgrounds. If this is not the case, there arises ineffective communication in the healthcare system.

Ineffective communication also occurs when there is no team work in the organization. Lack of teamwork in an organization leads to members of staff perform their duties as individuals to achieve their own goals. In other words, communication is not patient centered and hence not meeting the expectations of people.

Recommendations

Education and training should be offered from time to time in order to be up to date with changing technology and way of life. Training and education allows for advance skill development hence achieving effective communication.

Teamwork should also be emphasized in our organization. This is because when people are united, they can be able to communicate and agree unlike when there is no teamwork. It ensures that there is effective communication among the staff and thus no patient delays. It also increases job morale of workers and hence promoting effectiveness.

Healthcare organization staff involved in policy making should also employ tools and strategies that would enhance effective communication. The tools should be evaluated against check systems to ensure their effectiveness.

Use of Technology in Communication

Technology impact to a great extent the way communication takes place in healthcare organizations. For instance the adoption of electronic health record ensures that patients are not delayed and that the appropriate communication about a given patient is done on time (Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO), 2008).

Online communication through networking also translates to effective communication. One department can communicate to another through computer networking hence saving time and energy. In addition, it is effective because there is no alteration of information as compared to when individuals pass it.

Communication technology improves accuracy of information achieving efficiency and effectiveness in the organization. However if the technology in our health systems are not properly managed, they can lead to breakdown and thus resulting poor management of information in the healthcare system.

Conclusion

‘Boundary less’ organization can be achieved through promoting effective communication. This means that there is good communication culture within and without the health organization. Effective communication ensures openness, accuracy and efficiency. All this promotes the well being of people and especially the patients. Education and training as well as team work are the things that should be emphasized in order to achieve effective communication. In addition, technology can be integrated in healthcare systems to achieve efficiency and accuracy in delivering of information.

References

Donald, J. et al. (2007). Health Care Management. NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO). (2008). Patient Safety in Public Hospitals. Web.

Williams, M. et al. (2010). Measuring Communication in the Surgical ICU: Better Communication Equals Better Care. J Am Coll Surg, 210(1), p. 17-22.