Information Management in Health Care Essay.
Personal and Professional Health Care Communication
Communication is the basic method that people use to exchange information and messages. The information is exchanged every day in our personal and work lives. We talk with our neighbors, our family members, friends, school instructors, bosses, colleagues, and clients. The communication can have many forms: verbal, non-verbal or written. The sender of the messages and the receiver must have some common understanding for the information to be understood and have an effect. This paper will discuss the health care communication with other health professionals and clients, its effects on clients’ health and outcomes, and the principles of therapeutic communication. Health Care Communication Definition
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As Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the United States describes (2013), “Health communication is the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that affect health. It links the fields of communication and health and is increasingly recognized as a necessary element of efforts to improve personal and public health.” During the health care communication the information shared relates to individual and community health issues, and it should serve the purpose of informing, educating, supporting, and influencing behavior eventually to improve health results. Health care communication uses many channels: TV shows and advertising, health related magazines, journals, websites, but probably the most influential on a person’s health is a person to person communication, which happens between health care providers and clients. Health Care Communication with Professionals and ClientsInformation Management in Health Care Essay.
Today health care system is based on collaboration of professionals from different disciplines. The success of collaboration is based on communication skills of all involved. When communicating with professionals from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, the basic elements of good communication require self control, respect, and clarity. “Effective communication among staff encourages effective teamwork and promotes continuity and clarity within the patient care team” (Hughes, 2008, Chapter 33). Spoken words contain factual information, but their meaning can be influenced the way the speaker stands, moves, and looks at the receiver of the information. When verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, the nonverbal expression takes priority and is considered more honest (Arnold & Boggs, 2011). The same principle of professional communication can be applied to provider-client relationship. The clients are sensitive to professional’s behaviors toward them and among each other. When a professional is not happy with his working environment, when he does not think he is respected and valued, his behavior reflects his dissatisfaction with his job and projects outward towards his clients and coworkers in an aggressive or careless way. Health care professionals need to identify their own communication styles and modify them so they can communicate effectively with their peers and clients. Therapeutic Communication
The relationship between client and health care provider has a specific purpose. The goal of this relationship is not only to gather and give information but also is to promote healing and recovery of the patient. This is achieved through therapeutic communication which “ is the primary means through which nurse and client exchange information about health matters, plan treatment approaches, reach consensus about treatment decisions, conduct treatment activities, and evaluate clinical outcomes” (Arnold & Boggs, 2011, p. 175). Therapeutic communication has specific characteristics that make it different from social communication. According to Arnold and Boggs (2011) therapeutic communication is time limited, confidential, has defined format and health related purpose. It is client centered, which means it encourages client to express his feelings and ideas regarding his illness, and provides client with information and support need to reach maximum well-being. Therapeutic communication uses verbal and nonverbal strategies to show the interest of the listener and help clients to open up about their feelings. It starts with active listening, when the provider listens to the client and uses open-ended questions, general leads, restating, paraphrasing, acknowledging feelings, and reflection to encourage client to focus and continue expressing his feelings. The use of silence gives participants time to think and highlights important conversation points. Health care providers have to explore their own feelings and attitudes to communicate with clients in nonjudgmental and respectful way for the therapeutic communication to have a full effect. Health Care Communication and Health Outcomes
Effective health care communication has a significant impact on the patients. As Arnold and Boggs (2011) describe, it influences patients in positive ways. When patients feel comfortable communicating with the provider, they are more willing to share their problems and adopt positive outlook on their health problem. They are more relaxed and cooperative with treatments, which leads to better health outcomes for patients. When providing client-centered care, providers need to keep in mind the individuality of each client and tailor the communication to each client. Tailored communication helps the client with understanding treatment, medication adherence, fulfilling client’s needs, and making client feel reassured that the provider is doing everything possible to help the client (Van Dulmen, 2011). When clients feel the providers are sensitive to their needs and show respect for their uniqueness, they build trust and feel safe with the care provided. When providers make the clients feel empowered, the clients take control of their lives and become more involved in their care. Ineffective Communication and Poor Health Outcomes
A patient can come in contact with numerous health care providers during his stay in the hospital or navigating through health care system. All these providers are different educational level and specialty background. Physicians’ orders, nurses’ hand off reports, reporting of status, delegation of assignments are tasks that involve vital information that needs to be communicated effectively. With so many people collaborating there is a big chance for critical information to be missed or misunderstood. Miscommunication among health care team members affects patients’ safety. Medication errors, missed or wrong treatments and surgeries, missed changes in status can cause serious injuries in patients or even death. “Clinical communication is listed as the main cause of medical mishaps” (Gong & Khairat, 2010, p. 704). According to Gong and Khairat (2010), medical errors also pose a vast financial burden on economy because they lead to prolonged hospitalizations, more medical complications, and lawsuits. Poor communication between clients and their health care providers leads to client’s lose of trust and dissatisfaction. Client is then reluctant to cooperate and follow up with care, which leads to worse outcomes for the client. Conclusion
Health care workers have too much at stake to ignore the importance of effective communication. It would be unwise to ignore the studies that showed the relationship between effective communication and patient outcomes, or job satisfaction and patient outcomes. We picked this profession to help people, and we can do that by implementing good communication skills. Learning good communication skills is a lifelong process, which requires continuing education and dedication on our side. We can create good working and healing environment, which will satisfy us and our clients on many levels. References
Arnold, E.C & Boggs, K.U. (2011). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. (6th ed). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Gong, Y., & Khairat, S. (2010). Understanding effective clinical communication in medical errors. Studies In Health Technology And Informatics, 160(1), 704-708. Hughes, R. (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the United States. (2013). Health Communication.Information Management in Health Care Essay.
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