Optimising Communication in Healthcare

In today’s world, several individuals are involved in a patient’s care journey. And all of these individuals constantly share information with the patient. Often, these micro-level interactions determine patient satisfaction.

Poor interactions could lead to dissatisfied patients. Pleasant interactions could result in satisfied patients. Consequently, for improving the patient experience, streamlining communications is essential. In this post, we present the advantages and disadvantages of different communication channels.

Type of Communication
Based on the nature of the interaction, communication can be classified as synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous communication includes two way interactions such as telephony.
Asynchronous communication involves one way interaction such as text messages.

Synchronous Communication
In healthcare, telephones are commonly used for synchronous communication. They involve simultaneous interactions. However, telephonic interactions are known for regular interruptions. Due to these interruptions, individuals with a heavy workload could face problems in recollection. For example, a busy clinician could forget to take notes if he is interrupted often.

Asynchronous Communication
Asynchronous communication does not involve simultaneous exchange of information. This form of communication could involve SMS messages and whatsapp texts. Although asynchronous communication excludes the possibility of interruptions, it is ineffective in getting urgent messages communicated.

Given their advantages and disadvantages, healthcare facilities need to utilize both synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication. The communication channel can be determined depending on the type of message that needs to be communicated. Consequently, metahOS allows for both forms of communication to take place in a seamless and secure way. This helps in increasing patient satisfaction.

Coiera E. Communication systems in healthcare. Clin Biochem Rev. 2006;27(2):89-98.