According to one study, more than half of Americans don’t have good enough literacy and don’t understand the instructions from their doctor.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that you focus on healthcare communication so your patients can understand everything about their care.
But how do you have good communication in hospitals? Keep reading to find out!
Make Sure You Communicate Clearly
One thing you should have on your healthcare communication checklist is to make sure that you communicate as clearly as possible to the patient.
You need to be precise when you ask them about their condition and how they are feeling. You’ll need as many details as possible in order to diagnose them.
If you’re communicating with them over the web, make sure that you use perfect punctuation so that nothing gets misunderstood during the communication process.
If you want to make sure that they understood what you are saying, you can always ask them to repeat it back to you. That way you have a chance to correct them and ensure they get the best possible treatment.
Train Your Staff
You also need to make sure you have good communication between employees as well. Your employees also need to be trained on how to interact with patients.
You should implement some type of communication training for new hires or the staff that you think would benefit from it.
In the training program, make sure that your patients know how to ask questions or clear up any situations that might be confusing. However, they’ll also need to be able to validate any of the patient’s emotions and thoughts while also setting them on the right path.
They should also be trained on how to not be judgmental of patients. They need to be empathetic as well.
If they aren’t going to be interacting with patients in person, make sure they train them how to communicate professionally on the phone or over text as well.
While a training program can be helpful, the best way you can teach your staff is by setting a good example. Be a good role model in positive communication and show them in real-time how they should practice it.
Use New Communication Tools
While talking with your patients in person is great, you should also use some of the new communication tools that are out there.
These tools can help ensure that you send the data and messages over efficiently and clearly. To make sure you can do that, you’ll need to have the latest tools and technology.
Instead of using faxes and pagers, you should use computers and smartphones. Using this will not only improve the efficiency, but it will help to reduce the number of errors made, cut costs, help the staff, and improve your patient’s satisfaction rate.
Read Non-Verbal Signs
Even if you ask a patient if they understand what you’re saying, they may just say yes. However, many of them will be embarrassed to admit that they don’t understand you.
In this case, you’ll also have to be good at reading their non-verbal communication signs. This includes things like their facial expressions or their body language.
For example, if your patient is shivering or bouncing their leg up and down, they might be nervous. If they do it with a blank look on their face, they may not understand what you’re trying to say but might be too embarrassed to ask.
If you can recognize these signs and put your patient at ease, they’ll be more likely to feel comfortable around you and realize that you care.
Focus on Using Checklists
Checklists will help keep you on track so that you don’t forget anything. You could have a nurse interview the patient before you see them by asking them about their family history.
You can then review this checklist and make sure that you pay attention to all of the communication protocols in there.
While having an online communication system can be great, you also need to ensure that you’re protecting their personal health information.
For example, you should invest in a HIPAA compliant texting service or encrypted emails. There are many apps and software out there that have protection features like password protection, message encryption, and integrations.
You may also want to screen your patients before they come in. This can help identify any issues like communication gaps, cultural differences, language barriers, treatment preferences, or any other gap in your communication abilities.
If you don’t have time to screen every patient, you can always train your staff to communicate with these people. You may also want to hire different staff that speaks more than one language so you can easily communicate with your patients.
You may even need to hire a translator depending on where your practice is, who your patients are and if your staff speaks more than one language.
Learn More About How to Improve Your Healthcare Communication
These are only a few things that you can do to improve your healthcare communication, but there are many more things you should try.
We know that working in the healthcare system can be stressful, but you don’t have to figure it out on your own. We’re here to help you out!
If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles that are just like this one.