Improving Communication Between Healthcare Professionals
Developing an environment that fosters effective communication among health care professionals is essential to the quality of patient care. Studies show that ineffective communication has been the cause of 1,744 patient deaths and more than $1.75 billion in malpractice costs. Having an open and clear line of communications with patients is essential to improving patient safety and satisfaction. Improved communication will not only save money, but will also improve the day-to-day functioning of medical facilities. Additionally, increased access to patient medical histories will decrease the risk of errors, which is always desirable for the patient.
The barriers to effective communication vary among different organizations. In healthcare, the most common barriers are the hierarchy and cultural sensitivity. According to research conducted by Sutcliff and colleagues, hierarchical differences are the main cause of failures in communication. Concerns with upward influence, role conflict, and ambiguity are also common causes of communication failures in healthcare settings. Because of these factors, communication between healthcare professionals is often withheld or distorted.
In addition to reducing costs, the ability to communicate with healthcare professionals increases operating efficiency and reduces medical errors. For these reasons, effective communication among healthcare professionals is critical to patient care. In addition to reducing medical errors, it also improves patient care by enabling increased access to patient medical histories and other information. As such, effective communication between healthcare professionals is critical to improving patient care. In addition to verbal speech, it includes nonverbal communications, such as writing, email, and video chat.