Health Care Communication Methods

The ability to choose an effective method of communication in health care depends on the surrounding situation. In this scenario, it is very important for the administrator of the local nursing home to communicate to the residents on the changes being made to the nursing home and the effect of such changes. Most importantly, the administrator should inform the residents about displacement plans and the need for them to provide their medical information. Disclosing medical information is a very delicate issue. This implies that privacy should be maintained. Administrators should be aware of the serious consequences that they are likely to face in case they fail to respect the privacy of the residents. In order to achieve the best results, the administrator should select a communication method that fits well into the existing scenario. Needless to say, electronic and traditional methods of communication would be the best to use in this scenario. These two methods are reliable and convenient to all the residents since it is possible for a collective decision to be reached when the two methods are applied (Bryan, 2009).

In terms of using the electronic method of communication, the administrator is able to maintain frequent communication with the residents. Since some of the residents do not have a local family that can support them after displacement, there is great need to use a method of communication that makes it easier for such residents to communicate with the administrator. Through electronic communication, the administrator is in a position to listen and solve the problems from the residents even in instances where he may be away. This method of communication also facilitates convenience and speed because the administrator can opt to fax or mail the necessary documents to the residents. When mails are used, the residents are able to get a clear understanding of the changes being made to the nursing home and the likely effects associated with such changes. Electronic communication can also provide significant benefits to the residents in the sense that they can easily communicate with their relatives and inform them of the prevailing changes. By so doing, it becomes easier for the residents to get the necessary assistance or receive information that can help them to find alternative places to settle (Bryan, 2009).

Despite of the advantages associated with the use of electronic communication, there are many flaws that come with this method of communication. According to Bryan (2009), the method lacks an appropriate reinforcement for supporting the message being communicated. Both the body language and tone in the voice can be used to communicate the message when face to face communication is used. If someone makes a deliberate joke, it is easier for an individual to recognize the joke being made. On the other hand, the use of electronic communication (such as instant messaging) does not allow such reinforcement and is likely to lead to wrong interpretation of the message being communicated. In addition, electronic communication like e-mails can cause system failure especially under circumstances where the system is over used. Referring these challenges to this scenario, it means that the residents are likely to find it difficult to get all the vital information that relates to the changes being made on the nursing home. This might easily arise if the administrator finds it convenient to use e-mails to communicate the changes without knowing or comprehending the challenges that come with using e-mails in communicating.

Traditional method of communication can also be applied in this scenario. This method of communication is very effective in communicating the changes being made to the nursing home. There are several advantages of using this form of communication. To start with, the traditional communication method makes it possible to develop and exploit the different materials and means of communication such dances, stories, songs and poems. Since some of the residents experience a lot of difficulty in communicating, the traditional method can be used to remove this barrier. For example, the administrator can communicate the anticipated changes through traditional means of communication such as through the use of stories. In this case, the administrator focuses only on techniques or strategies that do not require the resident to respond. The administrator should be very careful not to use communication techniques that can make the residents to wrongly interpret the message being communicated.

Another advantage of using traditional method of communication in this scenario is that the method is realistic and also based on the normal lives of the residents (Bryan, 2009). The method allows the residents to communicate values, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes in a powerful way. This means that the residents can either raise their arguments that are against the implementation of the anticipated changes or support the changes being made on the nursing home. Since majority of the residents find it very challenging to communicate, it means that the use of traditional method can offer significant help because it does not require high level of communication skills. Using the traditional method of communication also makes it easier for the residents to communicate some of the problems they might be facing. Discussing such problems helps the administrator and the new management to come up with appropriate ways of solving the problems that result from the changes. It is believed that traditional method of communication plays a very vital role in changing the behavior of people especially in situations where people may be expected to engage in issues that appear to affect them negatively. Lastly, traditional form of communication can be easily understood by the residents without having to employ a lot of money and other resources.

It is important to mention that effective health care information can be achieved easily by using this form of communication. However, it is necessary to combine traditional communication method with other methods in order to increase peoples’ understanding on health messages. In this case, the administrator should avoid the use of social media because it is likely to enhance fraudulent activities and other behaviors that are against the values and norms of the society. Some people would want to benefit from the anticipated changes by using the social media to show how they can offer assistance to the residents who are about to be displaced. Before opting for this form of communication, the administrator should ensure existence of safe and convenient networking techniques that can deter the residents from such practices.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a complex and broad set of all the procedures and other conditions for protecting the health information of patients. When extracting medical information from the residents, the administrator should follow and adhere to the privacy regulations contained in HIPAA. The different media used to communicate the changes should also be in line with requirements of HIPPA (Chaikind, 2004).


Bryan, K. (2009). Communication in healthcare. Oxford England: Peter Lang.

Chaikind, H. R. (2004). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): Overview and analyses. New York: Novinka Books.