Communication is valuable in all healthcare teams in all its forms – between clinical teams, as well as between the administration and clinicians. Often, a breakdown in communication leads to a trail of other issues within the organization, from clinical mistakes to low staff retention rates.
Below are some suggested steps for streamlining communication within a healthcare organization.
1. Request real, honest feedback
Whoever is leading the attempt to streamline communication should first gather feedback from administrators and clinicians as a foundation for the process.
Organizations may be tempted to send a survey to team members for this feedback, but surveys may not garner the most honest responses. Especially when short on time, participants may breeze through surveys without truly considering their answers.
It would be much more beneficial to have a brief meeting with as many team members as possible, urging them to give their honest opinions of the existing communication process.
2. Identify roadblocks
Identify why communication has broken down in the first place. In most cases, this comes down to the fact that all members of the team are constantly pressed for time. Clinicians are busy with patients, and administration is busy with directing the organization.
Other roadblocks may include:
- Information overload – multiple sources of communication (paging, emails, texts, etc.) often leave people feeling overwhelmed
- Clinician scheduling – if staffing shortages or a high patient volume lead to unbalanced shift schedules for clinicians, aligning the team becomes more difficult
Of course, these roadblocks vary by specific team and organization.
Related blog post: How To Handle Physician Scheduling In An Understaffed Department
3. Use data gathered to test new methods
Based on the brief meetings held with individual team members, new approaches to communication should be created based on what would best relieve the roadblocks identified above.
Those approaches should be tested with the team, and their feedback can be collected once again to find the best permanent solution to the original communication problem.
In working with healthcare organizations, we’ve realized that inefficient scheduling can be a huge roadblock to communication.
Our Efficient Works platform, which includes Efficient Communications, improves physician and nurse scheduling, and streamlines team communcation. Find out more: