Communication is key in all aspects of life, but it is extremely important when dealing with patients in a medical setting. Effective communication with patients is important when it comes to patient-centered care in any type of health care setting, thus effective training is key to excellent communication. But sadly, that is still lacking in some health settings, with staff not properly equipped with the right training or knowledge on how to communicate with patients.
Those in charge of training programs must reexamine the quality and the extent of such communication training so that there are no communication barriers, problems, breakdowns and the like when it comes to communication or else this can lead to medical errors, inadequate treatments, unnecessary costs and more. Health care decision makers must adopt new ideas and training so that their staff can communicate properly with patients. Here are some ways that can help with effective patient communication training:
Adopting strategies from other industries
Right now, the current challenge when it comes to communication in the health care setting is to create an environment that facilitates transparent and open communication as the norm and not the exception. One way to do this is by looking at other industries and adopting their successful strategies and then tweaking them to be used in a medical setting.
Creating a system
The best way to treat patients with limited English proficiency is to establish a complete and functional language access system so that all patients are given the exact same type of communication regardless of their own language competencies. This might include how to effectively work with aids and interpreters so that nothing is left out of the original message. And the system should include ways for medical staff to be sensitive to signs of communication that that patient might have to address the situation properly like signs of distress and more.
Evaluating communication training programs
The best way to train staff on the best communication practices with patients is to evaluate current systems in place. Programs should evaluate a person’s skills and behavior when interacting with patients to see if it’s effective or not. And if it’s not, a new strategy should be implemented based on what’s best for the patients. Training programs should also be optimized so that they are as effective as possible, usually utilizing methods like role playing, group discussions, experience exchanges, video demonstrations and more.