In the modern healthcare system, service delivery processes for patients involve many interfaces and handoffs (exchanges) among different practitioners with varying scopes and levels of occupational and academic training. In a stay at a hospital, a patient is likely to interact with and receive different types of care fromdifferent health professionals, including physicians, technicians, and nurses. This implies that effective clinical practice to deliver quality healthcare services and fulfill patient outcomes involves multiple instances in which accurate communications and effective collaborations are necessary(O’Daniel& Rosenstein, 2008).Such collaboration and communication should occur across different levels, types, departments, and scopes of healthcare services and among different healthcare employees (physicians, nurses, technicians, etc.).
Collaboration and communications among different teams in healthcare are vital to prevent risks and failures in patient care. Effective inter-professional communication is crucial to prevent circumstances that imperil patient safety, and hence undermine the achievement of patient outcomes. These include lack of critical information, lack of clarity in orders and information, misinterpretation of information, and overlooked changes in status of patients’ health. Lack of effective inter-professional communication creates circumstances in which medical errors are prevalent. Such errors are likely to cause severe injuries, delay treatment, and undermine the effectiveness and productivity of treatment methods, thus weakening the achievement of patient outcomes (O’Daniel& Rosenstein, 2008).
To incorporate effective communication techniques in my practice, I could adopt a respectful, sincere, and open-minded attitude towards colleagues in the healthcare system, including those in different professional areas of healthcare. I could also focus on spending more time with colleagues to increase mutual confidence and trust in my relationships with them (Keller et al, 2013). I would further impress on the management the need to introduce regular inter-professional and intra-professional forums on which colleagues could interact and develop close relationships in training, strategizing, and discussions about a broad variety of issues in the healthcare environment.
Keller, K., Eggenberger, T., Belkowitz, J., Sarsekeyeva, M., &Zito, A. (2013). Implementing successful Inter-professional Communication Opportunities in Healthcare Education: a Qualitative Analysis. International Journal of Medical Education 4: 253-259. Retrieved from: https://www.ijme.net/archive/4/interprofessional-communication-in-health-care.pdf
O’Daniel, M., & Rosenstein, A. (2008). Professional Communication and Team Collaboration (Ch. 33). In Hughes, R. G. (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: an Evidence-based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2637/