Hospital White Paper

748 words - 3 pages

The Price of Poor Communication:Missed opportunities and mishaps in the healthcare industryIntroductionWhile nurses are often referred to as the backbone of the healthcare industry, they are also overlooked when it comes to healthcare reform. Of the 14 million healthcare professionals, nurses make up one third of the entire population. Yet, the lack of efficient communicate systems between nurses continues to be a problem. Although there are multiple aspects that should be overhauled in regards to healthcare, the sheer volume of communication mishaps between nurses highlights the need for reform. According to a national survey that polled nurses from all sectors, one-quarter did not have access to communication devices while at work (see graph below). Due to the fact that nurses are the largest group of professionals in the field, it is obvious how communication lapses can affect both efficiency and safety in hospitals. There are multiple problems that can arise through poor communication, including a lack of work output and patient welfare. [1: Dare, F. The High Cost of Nurses' Communication Challenges (2009).]Lost ProductivityThe survey consisted of 253 nurses nationwide and their responses unveiled a clear theme - better communication systems would assist in better use of time and better patient care. 86% of nurses cited that spend up to two hours per shift searching for other staff to answer questions1. Investing in audio and/or video conferencing could greatly decrease the amount of time spent on physically searching for staff members when a problem arises. Another source of lost productivity is the time spent to locate necessary supplies. 85% of nurses stated that they spent up to 60 minutes per shift locating supplies such as meds or wheelchairs1. At a bare minimum, it was found that 10 hours of overtime could be saved each week by implementing sound communication tactics for nurses.[2: ][3: ]Patient Care and Satisfaction Problems that arise from poor communication can also affect patients. This can create an experience that is uncomfortable, and at times, harmful for patients (see table). A staggering 77% of participating nurses stated that communication lapses could impact patient safety1. This can lead to negative media coverage, costly litigations, as well as unnecessarily harming a patient. The costliness bad communication can also come from poor patient satisfaction. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) now require patient satisfaction surveys. Inadequate...

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