Understanding the Need for Effective Communication in Healthcare

Research has shown that a healthcare professional may be the most qualified in his field. However, if he is not able to properly communicate with his patients, he may still not be of any help. There is evidence that indicates that proper communication by a healthcare provider is positively related to the ability of a patient to follow recommendations, do self-management and even adopt preventive behaviors. The ability of a clinician to explain, empathize, and listen can affect the functional and biological health outcomes of a patient, as well as his overall experience and satisfaction with the care extended to him.

There is a need for healthcare providers to communicate more effectively to their patients. Proper healthcare communication relies on proper communication skills which include empathy, reflective listening, and open-ended questioning in order to respond to individual patients’ unique values, needs, and preference.

Communication and diagnostic accuracy

Diagnostic decisions made by healthcare providers often come that part of the interview with patients where their history is taken note of. However, there are many instances where patients are not really given enough time and opportunity to tell their side of the story. This can compromise accuracy. When doctors keep interrupting the patient, there is a good chance that they might perceive that what they are telling the healthcare provider is of no importance. As a result, some patients become reticent to offer further details.

Communication and adherence

The extent that the behavior of a patient corresponds to the healthcare provider’s recommendations can also be affected by communication. Non-adherence has long since been an issue in healthcare. Many of the people that ended up not following their doctors’ advice were those that did not agree with what the provider wanted them to do, were worried about the inherent costs, those that found the instructions way too complicated, those that feel that the recommendations violate their personal beliefs, and those that did not really understand what it is exactly they must do. This is why proper communication needs to be established in order to address these nagging concerns.

Communication and patient satisfaction

Patients feel satisfied when their expectations are met. They need to be given the opportunity to relate their story. Patients tend to be more satisfied with the experience when they feel that the healthcare provider is taking their problems seriously. One way of showing that is through proper communication. They also feel satisfied when they are being made to feel in control of the situation. This satisfaction increases when they are given a larger role towards decision-making. Patients tend to be more satisfied too when they feel that the healthcare provider is willing to spend more time with them. All of these things are elements that support the need for proper communication between the healthcare provider and the patient.

Proper communication is also necessary to ensure patient safety. When healthcare providers are able to effectively communicate what it is that their patients are supposed to do, the instances where patients suffer due to human or system error lessen. Learn more about the importance of proper communication to effective health care services by reading more about David Hill Guildford online.

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