Communication is a vital component of health and social care.
The Institute for Healthcare Communication states:
“Extensive research has shown that no matter how knowledgeable a clinician might be, if he or she is not able to open good communication with the patient, he or she may be of no help.”
This illustrates that effective healthcare goes beyond knowledge and expertise, but rather includes a holistic approach that incorporates every aspect of interaction and experience.
The ability to effectively communicate with patients and relatives is one of the best ways health and social care providers can improve their services.
Types of Communication in Health and Social Care
The Royal College of Nursing states that “Communication is about much more than the words we say.” Our tone of voice, body language, gestures, eye contact, writing style and other factors all impact the overall effectiveness of any form of communication.
There are 6 key areas of communication that health and social care providers should pay close attention to.
Listening and attending – ironically, when people think of communication, they ignore listening, when in fact this is incredibly important. Being able to not only listen to what a patient or colleague is saying, but also listen to words that may indicate they need more support is an incredibly useful skill for any carer to develop.
- Non-verbal – non-verbal communication is all about body language and the way in which you present yourself. Being positive and confident will make patients feel much better than if you are angry or disengaged.
- Verbal – verbal communication is the way you talk to patients and colleagues. Using clear, accurate and honest language will ensure people understand what you are trying to communicate. Understanding who you are talking to is also important in adapting your verbal communication appropriately.
- Questioning – The way in which we ask questions can impact answers and discussions. Understanding the difference between open and closed questions will help ensure carers ask the right sorts of questions at the right time.
- Written – Any written communication needs to be as clear as possible. Any confusion or misunderstandings could result in serious implications (such as wrong medication taken).
- Recording – Recording important patient data and sharing it with relevant people is a vital component of healthcare to improve efficiency and manage patient data appropriately.
Importance of Effective Communication
The BMJ recently published an article citing some issues with communication in healthcare and how “referrals can be rejected simply for being on the wrong form.” This showcases the impact of bad communication channels and a structure that doesn’t create effective results for patients. Instead, putting communication at the top of the agenda means patients receive faster and more effective care.
Good communication makes patients feel valued, cared for and helps them feel at ease.
Effective communication not only improves care services but also creates a better working environment for carers as it creates more transparency and openness related to daily tasks and requirements. This means people feel more empowered and motivated.
The importance of communication between patient and carer is also incredibly important. Often patients can benefit from adapting their lifestyle or taking on some responsibility for self-medication or management. This means ensuring the patient fully understands what to do is incredibly important, and something that can’t be taken lightly.
Learn More About CareDocs
Record keeping is a key component of healthcare communication and that’s where we can help.
CareDocs is a leading care home software and management system for any care setting. Simplify your day-to-day care recording using our dedicated devices and ensure your care records are up to date from anywhere. Give your staff more time to care and reinvest your savings on alternative provisions; these are just some of the benefits of implementing CareDocs.
CareDocs will help support effective communication by removing unnecessary administrative and repetitive tasks.
We will also offer enhanced data security, unlimited technical help, on-site training, and frequent updates to the software, making us a truly complete care management solution.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can use CareDocs to improve communication and management within your care home.