Provider – Patient Communication

A son takes his father to the hospital for a simple procedure to remove the prostate. The doctor tells the son that the procedure would take 15 minutes tops! Son watches while the father is wheeled away into the OR. 9 hours later, the son has heard nothing from the doctor, or any staff of the hospital. He does not know whether the surgery went well or whether there were complications. He does not know where in the hospital his father is. He does not even know whether his father is alive or dead.

A man takes his wife to the hospital for a caesarean section. 24 hours later, he has no information on how the procedure went or the whereabouts of his wife and child. 

A doctor prescribes medication to be administered to a patient. The day shift nurse administers the medication. The night shift nurse comes in and administers the same medication. The patient reacts negatively to the overdose. 

These are regular occurrences in healthcare facilities, especially in developing countries. They result not only in unnecessary anguish for relatives of patients but also in needless loss of lives.  

The questions that need answering include the following;

  1. Does the healthcare facility have specific policies on communicating with clients?
  2. Do the health staff know and understand the policies?
  3. Who is responsible for enforcing the policies?
  4. How are the policies enforced? 
  5. Are your enforcement mechanisms effective?
  6. If not, what do you do?

A strong culture of effective communication has many benefits. It shows respect to the client and their family. It extends inclusiveness to the clients and their family and gives them a sense of autonomy over their care.  It shows transparency in the activities of the hospital. It shows integrity on the part of the facility towards its clients. A good compliance program answers these questions and more. With simple but effective compliance tools and strategies, your facility will have reduced incidents of this nature, and develop the reputation of being responsive and client-centred. Such a reputation builds trust and generates business. It is time to consider investing in an effective compliance program for your practice. Talk to us at Lamese. We can help. 

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