Now more than ever, healthcare professionals and building staff must communicate effectively for the safety of patients and employees alike. Communication is an often-overlooked necessity in the daily workplace of a hospital or medical facility. Without a solid communication framework or communication skills, the routine falls apart. If you find that it’s lacking at your workplace, these are some of the best ways to improve staff communication in healthcare that can keep the cogs turning with ease.
Encourage All Employees to Speak Up
The environment of your healthcare facility should promote a comfortable place for anyone to air their concerns, even if they’re incorrect. Calmly guide false concerns with facts to relieve anxiety without shutting the staff member down for speaking their mind. If any employee sees something suspicious or out of place, they should speak out about it freely—without fearing for their position or punishment.
Even with issues in personal lives or outside of work, it’s essential for the team to respond with validation and empathy. Most staff will treat their patients with that respect, so it’s important to lead by example in every case.
Establish the Chain of Communication During Training
All employees must know who to talk to when problems arise. While you will need to relay this chain of communication during their training, you may also want to post it somewhere that all staff can see—like through a downloadable file or poster. This chain of communication isn’t meant to be a hierarchy; it will only make answers come quicker and jobs get done faster.
Make Sure All Communication Technology Is Functional
Your most important tools on the job are the two-way radios or cellphones that you use to communicate with other staff members. Computers are essential as well, since e-mail is impossible to work without in a large building. Whenever a technological problem rises to the surface, have it checked as soon as possible. At first, you may only need the validation of another coworker, but you may need to contact IT if the problem persists.
If you notice that there is a radio or cellphone dead-zone anywhere in the building, it needs attention immediately. There are devices, like bi-directional amplification systems, that can extend cellphone or radio range to anywhere in the building—even in the basement. When signal doesn’t reach the entire building, that means that if there is ever an emergency, the dying signal may cause hazardous communication issues. For hospitals and medical facilities that rely on two-way radios or cellphones, amplifying the signal is a necessary way to improve staff communication in healthcare.