The Impact Of Communication In Healthcare

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Communication In Healthcare

The impact of communication in healthcare cannot be overemphasized.

According to a search, the factor that has a more significant effect on the patient-physician relationship than the knowledge of a physician is the physician’s ability to communicate well. 

What comes along with good communication between a physician and a patient?

Several types of research suggest that good communication skills improve the relationship between a healthcare practitioner and their patients, as well as:

  • Increases the patient’s capacity to comprehend the medical recommendations effectively 
  • Improves patient’s self-management regarding a chronic medical condition.
  • Eases the adaptability of preventive health behaviours for patients.

Moreover, some studies also indicate that the physician’s capability of listening, explaining, and empathizing significantly affects patient care and satisfaction and the functional and biological health outcomes of the patient.

A patient equates good healthcare quality to high-quality interactions with their physician and the healthcare team. 

Communication can make or break a patient’s experience.

Therefore, physicians are using help from virtual medical assistants to converse the details proficiently with the patients and ensure a high level of patient care.

Maintaining effective communication can help avoid several issues – administrative and patient health-related.

Significance Of Healthcare Communication 

Communication In Healthcare

On average, a physician conducts around 150,000 patient interviews throughout their medical career.

Considering patient interview as a healthcare procedure, it is the procedure that is the most performed and commonly used by a physician.

However, the training offered to healthcare professionals for communicating with patients is considerably less.

Thus, this area requires improvements as evidence supports the connection between improved healthcare delivery and effective communication. 

Impact On Diagnostic Accuracy

A significant component of the diagnostic decisions depends on the patient’s history, recorded during the patient’s interview.

However, some studies reveal that patients rarely get the opportunity to communicate and share their stories or history during their clinic visits.

The lack of communication here is often due to interruptions. But as a result, the diagnostic accuracy gets compromised.

Diagnostic decisions based on incomplete histories and collected data are often wrong. 

Furthermore, interruptions also present the idea to the patients that their story is not given enough importance.

Thus, the patients hesitate while providing more information. 

Practical and focused communication is essential to improve data accuracy and the patient-physician relationship.

Check out 6 Ways Assumptions Affect Communication

Communication And Adherence

Communication In Healthcare

Non-adherence is another struggle faced in the healthcare industry. At times, patients disagree with the recommendations of their doctors.

According to a survey, around 14% of Americans do not follow the advice of their healthcare providers due to communication problems.

Some find the instructions too hard to follow, some do not understand the instructions, and some misinterpret the guidelines and recommendations.

Efficient communication in healthcare can increase adherence and eventually improve patient health.

Connection With Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction comprises a total of nine elements.

Out of the nine, four elements are connected with communication in healthcare and the time professionals spend with their patients. 

As per these four elements, patients expect to be given the opportunity to speak and share their medical and non-medical histories.

They seek encouragement to express their concerns and expectations regarding their health problems or treatment.

Moreover, the patients appreciate a good explanation of the problem and its solution and expect the healthcare team to take their health issues seriously.

Lastly, they require sufficient time with their physician. Increased time with the physician is likely to improve patient satisfaction. 

Also, read 15 ways to improve your Listening Skills

Connection With Team Satisfaction

Communication In Healthcare

A team must work collectively to accomplish effective medical practice and patient care.

The factor that binds together the productivity and success of the team members is communication.

Lacking communication can hurt various components of a healthcare practice. Hence, it is important to understand how to communicate respectfully.

Strong communication among the healthcare team members:

  • Encourages job satisfaction, and improves co-worker relationships and patient health outcomes
  • Decreases nurse turnover and enables a culture of mutual support.
  • Displays a significantly positive effect on the healthcare provider’s level of satisfaction, which allows them to build better relationships with their patients.

Conclusion 

In healthcare, good communication can go a long way.

Several kinds of research suggest that good communication skills improve the relationship between healthcare practitioner and their patients.

It increases the patient’s capacity to comprehend the medical recommendations effectively and enhances their self-management of a chronic medical condition.

Moreover, strong communication among the healthcare team members eases patient adoption of preventive health behaviours. 

In the healthcare industry, communication fosters trust and reliability between patients and providers, as well as among healthcare team members.

Without trust between patients and physicians, patients are more likely to avoid sharing important information during their clinic visits.

While medical and non-medical information plays a vital role in making diagnostic decisions, the accuracy of the diagnosis gets compromised if sufficient data is not collected from patients.

The impact of communication extends to several other areas, such as malpractice risks and patient safety. 

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