Advancing effective communication practices for corporate hospitals
Good medical care depends upon effective communication between patients and providers. In the healthcare sector, an organization has a wide range of stakeholders, including doctors and other staff, patients, patient families and the community at large. It is therefore essential to have a strategic communication plan in order to streamline the communication processes.
In this day and age, it is common to have staff and patients from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Ensuring that the instructions and other communications are clear by all these groups becomes a significant challenge. In the healthcare sector, especially in hospitals this issue is particularly important as a misunderstanding could have detrimental repercussions.
Beyond improving the health of the patients, another important aspect for the hospitals is providing a positive patient experience. A huge part of healthcare has changed from reactive to proactive. Communication plays an important role in improving patient satisfaction; however, in the face of increasing wait times, doctor shortages and budget constraints, this can be a formidable task. Strategic communication plan for hospitals involves developing a link to the community, ensuring a positive reputation with patients and the public at large and dealing with any crises or issues that may emerge. Thus, there is an urgent need for hospitals, specifically private hospitals to implement best practices for enhancing patient satisfaction through communication.
Today, communication is referred as a mirror that you hold up to your performance. 85% of changing perception is what you actually do and only 15% is what you say about it.
In an era in which healthcare has increasingly become mass-market wellness, not just in hospital treatments. The more specific and clear the communication, the more likely people are ready to make a change.
Communicating the differentiating factors:
It is of utmost importance to identify the areas of strength and improvement. Hospitals should determine what differentiates it from competitors and whether that point of differentiation is important to the consumers. These differentiating factors include:
• The patient experience – for instance, the customer service/patient satisfaction scores in the market.
• Centres of excellence in specialized medical fields
• History of community service
• Newest technology/cutting-edge procedures
• Widest range of services available in the market
Hospitals should communicate what they have done and what they are prepared to do to change the perception. No matter the hospital’s current position in the market, communication effort should reflect the reality. Even in the case where the medical provider is chosen for the patient it is important that the sense of trust is created. Today, patients choose a hospital or medical provider based on trust. The reputation of a Hospital is extremely dynamic in nature, never constant. It is ever changing according to the nature of external forces.
Considering the need for patient-centered care, Hospitals should include attentions to the myriad of healthcare needs that individual and populations of patients wish to be fulfilled. These needs may include issues like cultural, educational, physical and environmental constructs that may impact how care is interpreted by the patient. It is also important for Hospitals to consider how their processes, systems and environment can influence the way care is provided.