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 residents 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 recognises 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, listening isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, when in fact this is incredibly important. Being able to not only listen to what a resident 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 residents feel much better than if you are negative or disengaged.
- Verbal – Verbal communication is the way you talk to residents 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
In an article published by the BMJ, it cited 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 residents. Instead, putting communication at the top of the agenda means patients receive faster and more effective care.
Good communication makes residents feel valued, cared for and puts them 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 resident and carer is also incredibly important. Often residents can benefit from adapting their lifestyle or taking on some responsibility for self-medication or self-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, giving your staff more time to care.
CareDocs will help support effective communication by removing unnecessary administrative and repetitive tasks and providing a shared platform for the most up to date health care information. We will also offer enhanced data security, unlimited technical help, on-site training, and regular 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.