By Greg Hunter, RT (R) (T)
Beth Boynton, RN, MS
One thing that defines a successful team endeavor is an effective communication system. In healthcare, this has been emphasized by numerous studies done over the years. Among the different findings, there is consensus that certain communication procedures should be in place for the interprofessional team to ask questions or provide information and get feedback in return. There should be a common platform where ideas can be openly discussed and a way for members to assess each other’s tasks.
Taking these findings from the other end where there is a failure in communication, patients do not receive proper care and health management, and are harmed while entrusting with the healthcare team their very lives. In fact, of all harms sustained by patients, 70% are the result of communication that got faulty somewhere along the way.
The responses below are far too common when miscommunication happens:
· “I thought she understood me.”
· “I don’t understand why the instruction was unclear to him!”
· ‘I thought we agreed to…”
· “I wasn’t made aware of…”
It is noticeable from the responses that the communication loop had not been smooth and continuous.
The use of technology in creating a shared hub for effective communication to happen is one of the major factors in achieving healthcare team success. It also prevents medical errors and client injury as a result of communication failures. One institution which exemplified the use of technology to improve communication among and between health providers, the patient and their families is MD Andersen Cancer Center. They were successful in creating an online portal where patient records can be readily accessed, and where correspondence can happen between patient and providers and among healthcare team members. This has significantly improved patient experience and in time, the institution garnered very positive satisfaction rating. They owe these results from the web portal that paved the way for a smooth and transparent communication process because it allowed instant feedback, and an uninterrupted and immediate correspondence.
We at ManageUP highlights this same achievement with our unique and tailored-fit platform that aside from being a source of instant information, it enables automated workflows and shared leadership that lead to real-time performance management. Think of it as a messenger app, a gaming tool, a notification device and a customized ‘wiki’ in one with added features which will remind you of tasks that are overdue, urgent or pending and reward you with points for tasks done efficiently in a timely manner. It can also notify you that a certain individual is awaiting response. It will show you important updates relevant to your jobs. As a leader, you would also have a way of tracking your team’s individual tasks.
The advantages of ManageUP’s platform are these:
1. It ensures closed loop communication. No more wondering if your memo has been read or not. No more queuing at the doctor’s office for simple consults. You get your answer sooner and hassle-free, and even keep the conversation for future reference.
2. It gives organizational initiatives a big thrust and exposure. No need to go to a certain corner where initiatives are written to be reminded of organizational goals because the portal keeps them readily available for access.
3. Any change in workflows, checklists and protocols can be easily disseminated and it will keep a record of who have seen these changes. No need for alibis when a protocol is breached.
4. It enhances collaboration and communication which will prevent errors in the provision of care thereby improving healthcare delivery as a whole.
5. It will save time which will allow the healthcare team to focus on what’s important: client care.
6. It engages the team through a game-like reward system which lets members score points accordingly. It reduces the feeling of burnout, boosts morale and drives motivation.
7. It improves patient experience because of enhanced team performance. It will build better client trust and will be of great advantage on the business point of view.
8. And for persistent or emotionally charged conflicts, there will be more time to hold difficult conversations. It becomes a platform for resolving conflicts.
Having a ‘techie’ communication system like ours at ManageUP will take your organization’s teams at a whole new level of performance. The time to act on it is now. Contact us to know more.