In healthcare one of the major obstacles employees attempt to overcome is the communication gap. The outpatient clinics in particular find it challenging to keep in contact with the hospital. In the healthcare market to have success you must have communication. Romano observed that hospitals are branching out; outpatient setting offer lucrative services that are rendered in a well-situated environment (2006). The outpatient sector is where the profit is made; this is clearly the way of the future. If prospective clinics are to fulfill patient and employees needs, a communication policy must be put into practice. By employing a communication strategy employees will be more productive, more informed, and administration could expect to see enhanced customer service.
Research and Discussion
A More Productive Staff
Healthcare teams are always looking for ways to improve productivity. Increased communication and improved productivity often exhibit a positive correlation; meaning when one improves so does the other. Outpatient clinics face an uphill battle trying to remain in communication with their main hospital. Equipment differences and work schedules can inhibit productivity without the proper communication. With effective communication between the two facilities productivity will soar.
To create a communication strategy equipment differences must be included. The differences hinder productivity due to the fact that protocol is tailored to the equipment at the hospital. Mothiba, Dolamo, and Lekhuleni (2008) observed that in most meetings managers were not incorporating the staff at a functional level (p.43). By including staff from the outpatient clinic in meetings, protocol could be written that represents both hospital and outpatient equipment. Essentially, the outpatient clinic is nothing more than another department that radiology administration must communicate with. By including staff from the outpatient clinic at interdepartmental meetings productivity would increase.
By not including outpatient equipment in protocol, administration inadvertently creates a feeling of isolation towards the outpatient clinic. Ochs and Adams (2008) pointed out that radiology departments are continuing to mature and become more multifaceted (p.564). As this change happens it remains crucial that the department function as a team. As suggested by Ochs and Adams (2008), adopting a departmental contiguous communication team can increase team building skills; changing the mindset from a group to a team (p.561).
The communication plan must include an interface for the scheduling department and the outpatient clinic to correspond through. In recent years the trend in healthcare has encouraged communication between departments; however, obstacles prevent the communication. Casteldine (2009) thought the root of the problem was a time shortage (p.1281). Different disciplines simply don’t have the time to...