At the core of great healthcare facilities and hospitals are outstanding communication systems.
In practices that run smoothly and offer excellent patient care, the staff is in sync with each other. They have the information they need about each patient, can easily share that information with other team members, and use it to quickly, skillfully, and properly serve patients.
Teams with an effective and clear healthcare communication system can also update each other on internal affairs, practice information, facility changes, and office news. They are able to get and stay on the same page which leads to less confusion, fewer mistakes, more streamlined processes, and better patient experiences and healthcare outcomes.
If you want to offer this elevated service in your practice or hospital, use these tips and tools to improve communication with your healthcare staff.
Set digital communication guidelines.
With so many communication methods -- email, phone, text, paper memos, etc. -- it’s no wonder that communication can get complicated. When your team members rely on different versions of communication tools (and fail to notice or check other forms), messages and important information can get lost.
To avoid this situation, set clear guidelines that outline your facility’s healthcare communication system and preferences. Create guidelines that explain:
- How managers are to share information with their team
- How often you expect team members to check various communication platforms
- How quickly you expect team members to respond
- How to share patient information and status updates
Schedule regular in-person meetings.
It’s easy to lean on digital communication methods because they are readily available and easy to use. But to improve your healthcare communication system, you shouldn’t rely on digital interactions alone. You should also include regular in-person communication.
Schedule recurring in-person meetings for teams and managers. Regularly bring together staff that works in the same department, and also host meetings for employees that are at the same level of management so they can share ideas and clear up any confusion that could be caused by digital conversations.
To help your team absorb the messages shared in your meetings, don’t just talk or distribute materials that are all text. Using visuals to support your information will help staff better understand and remember the information you share. So use screens with visuals during your meetings to improve communication and help your team better absorb the information.
Document your processes in a video resource library.
Even while using visuals in your messaging, it’s likely that some of your staff will forget the information shared during meetings, trainings, and presentations. So make it easy for them to go back and review the information.
Document all of your processes, training materials, and information in an accessible resource video library. Place interactive displays around your location that staff can use to access the informative training videos. Giving your team a quick and easy way to reference the information they need will help them get accurate instructions instead of relying on memory or requesting assistance from others.
Use patient status boards.
The most important information in a healthcare facility is related to patients. Your team needs to be aware of the current status of patients, where they are in the facility, and what they may need.
To help your team stay on the same page about these patients details, install digital status boards throughout your location. Staff-facing patient status boards that update in real-time help your team quickly find out what’s going on with patients. They can glance at a board to find out where patients are in the phase of their appointment and also get an idea of who and what is coming up in the queue.
Use patient in-take kiosks.
Because patient information is so important, it’s often helpful to have patients engaged with their data and records so they can double-check and add information. To help your team collect and track accurate information, use touchscreen in-take kiosks and digital patient portals that enable patients to access their healthcare records and update their health history.
By providing tools that get patients involved with their healthcare, you can improve communication, track more accurate data, and even improve healthcare outcomes. A study found that when patients are involved with their healthcare, it can lead to more positive outcomes.
Place communication boards throughout your location.
It can be challenging to improve a healthcare communication system in a large location such as a medical building or hospital campus. Physical distance can create communication barriers as it’s difficult to get information to all areas of the facility.
To resolve this situation, place digital signage throughout your location. Better yet, use digital wayfinding tools. Digital wayfinding tools are interactive displays that guests can use to find directions to their location. But, they also serve double duty.
Digital wayfinding screens can help you communicate with people throughout your entire location as all screens can be set to share the same information. So if you need to share important updates or emergency information with your entire facility, you can use the wayfinding tools to send alerts and update everyone in your location at the same time.
Ask for feedback from your team and patients.
One of the best ways to learn how to improve your healthcare communication system is by asking your team and patients about their experiences, needs, and wants. You can learn a lot about the problems and gaps in your communication systems when you ask those impacted by it.
Send regular surveys to patients asking them about their experience in your office. Also, schedule regular reviews with your team to find out what you can do to help them get the information they need and better streamline the communication process at your facility.
Embrace tools that support a strong healthcare communication system.
Having a clear and consistent communication system benefits both patients and staff. Patients get a better experience and possibly even better healthcare outcomes when staff is in sync about their care. Staff also benefits by having more clear directions and information that helps them do their job better while providing better care for their patients.
To learn more about how you can improve your healthcare communication system by bringing digital signage and interactive displays to your practice or hospital, grab our free ebook.
The guide goes deeper into the application of these digital tools, explains additional uses for digital screens, and looks at how you can use content to increase patient satisfaction, decrease strain on human resource, and even increase revenue.