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Top Healthcare Communication Strategies

A variety of approaches have been developed to communicate better and guarantee an effective flow of information in healthcare. Communication between members of the healthcare team and better communication with patients can considerably enhance the quality of care provided.  

Medical mistakes, a toxic work environment, and higher healthcare costs are all consequences of subpar communication. Because of the harmful impact on patient care and clinical outcomes, poor communication should be avoided. 

In this post, we’ll cover the top healthcare communication strategies that you can implement with your team. 

3 Effective Healthcare Communication Strategies 

Healthcare organizations need effective communication strategies for internal use. Many healthcare communication tactics have been found to improve efficiency and prevent medical errors. These include the following: 

  1. BATHE Protocol 

The BATHE protocol can be used to help patients feel more at ease and build rapport with their healthcare providers. This method of communication is not intended to help the patient in any way.  

Instead, focus on calming the patient’s fears and easing their worries. In outpatient settings, this method has been demonstrated to increase patients’ overall satisfaction with their care.  

  • Background – How are things going for you?  
  • Affect – Just how does that impact you? 
  • Troubles – Tell me about the problems you’re having. 
  • Handling – Tell me how you’re dealing with it. 
  • Empathy – E.g. This must be extremely tough for you. 
     
  1. Structured Communications With SBAR 

Patient safety can be greatly enhanced by the use of structured discussions to guarantee the correct transfer of information between two parties. The abbreviation SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) is one of the effective healthcare communication strategies. This strategy is particularly useful for nurse-to-nurse interactions during shift changeovers and nurse-to-physician discussions. 

  • Situation – Each conversation must begin with the Situation, which includes the caller’s identity, the patient they are calling about, and the purpose of the call.  
  • Background – The patient’s and the condition’s background are then briefly explained.  
  • Assessment – The patient’s assessment details are then revealed.  
  • Recommendation – The caller either gives or requests recommendations on what to do next. The caller will ask the recipient to repeat what they have heard to ensure comprehension. 
     
  1. STICC Procedure 

Several sectors have embraced the STICC procedure to give briefings structure and make sure key points are comprehended.  

  • Situation – Describe the current predicament and the issues you are experiencing.  
  • Task – Detail the suggested next steps.  
  • Intent – Provide justification for why that course of action is necessary.  
  • Concern – Provide details on potential problems and warning signs.  
  • Calibrate – Ask them to clarify if there’s anything they don’t grasp. Inquire if anything is stopping the action from being taken, and give the receiver a chance to voice any worries. 

What is the Goal of Using Healthcare Communication Strategies? 

It would be impossible to exaggerate the significance of satisfied patients in the healthcare system. A positive outcome is more likely when patients are pleased with their treatment.  

The likelihood of a patient sticking with their current doctor also increases. A dissatisfied patient has the option to seek care elsewhere and spread the word about their negative experience via online forums, blogs, and word of mouth. This is why healthcare communication strategies must be implemented in the healthcare system. 

For this reason, Medicare awards point based on the results of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which measures patients’ level of satisfaction with their care. 

Do you find these strategies helpful? Share it below! 


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