Martin, D 2014, ‘Too polite to make a fuss: Elderly NHS patients suffer in silence say health watchdog’, in The Daily Mail, 7 April, viewed 13 March 2019. He holds a masters of health science (mental health and addiction). Effective communication is a skill all healthcare professionals need, but one that not all are naturally good at. Be prepared for a wide range of reactions. Grohol, JM 2018, ‘Become a Better Listener: Active Listening’, PsychCentral, viewed June 2018. The plan is agreed to, however, and now the nurse need only field one update call per shift and continue to communicate with her elderly patient, Mr Reed. The PDSA method is a cyclic process performed periodically for continuous process improvement. Loud chaotic environments also increase the chances of you, a patient or colleague mishearing important information. Introduction Communication plays an important role in patient safety, quality of care and patients’ rights. Assessments employed should be simple to administer and evaluate, and data entry for the administered assessments should fit into preexisting workflows. The most likely scenario where this would arise is when taking the history of present illness (HPI) from the patient. However, both must communicate clearly with each other to ensure that appropriate care recommendations are met. Through incorporating the concept of population health, health literacy can be broadened to encompass any-and-all topics which can influence healthcare outcomes (for example, finances, public policy, housing, trauma prevention, social awareness, climate change etc.). It is uncomfortable and emotionally challenging to face a person who has just received a prognosis without hope, and who you know will be facing their biggest struggle - not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. Remember: time and place. Language barriers are not always immediately evident. 75-9, viewed 13 March 2019. Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working with people in a mental health crisis in the ED setting and working proactively to educate other health professionals and the community about how to better understand mental health problems, as well as substance use and addiction. Put some distance between yourself and the patient. “You should.”. Using complicated medical terminology, or ‘jargon’, isn’t a good way to talk to any patient, but it is particularly detrimental when speaking with the older patient. Effective communication is a skill all healthcare professionals need, but one that not all are naturally good at. Although the nurse tries to be concise, often these conversations can take up to twenty minutes. Being assertive involves expressing your own thoughts and feelings without dismissing or abusing the rights of others (which is aggression). Supplemental information typically acts as an impetus for patients to initiate dialogue with their healthcare provider. Studies have shown that race-and-socioeconomic-status-concordant physicians had more meaningful interactions with their patients than those from different groups. Remember, you have a roster of patients, and the wear and tear from becoming too emotionally involved can lead to burnout. Complex assessments may be time-intensive and impractical to implement within busy practice settings. Offer yourself as a sounding board for the relative. In the end, she had her tests, however, doctors are still trying to determine the cause of her fainting spells. When conveying information to patients, it is important to address: 1) what is wrong, 2) what the patient needs to do and why, 3) how they do it, 4) what to expect (both pros and cons) and 5) alternatives (including no treatment). Research shows that 92% of healthcare consumers think that improving patient experience should be a top priority. “An option open to you is…”. If your patient is in a bed, crouch down to their level rather than towering over them. In addition, patient material should be able to accommodate for visual, hearing and cognitive impairment. Expanding the scope of preventative healthcare practice to incorporate population health concepts is crucial. Clarify each person’s tasks (read back any critical information to check understanding). See Educator Profile. You can help minimise bad feelings by actively listening, moderating your body language and assuring friends and family that you understand they are concerned about the patient. Carrying these feelings everywhere with you may make you susceptible to compassion fatigue - a syndrome that can lead to depression, anger and the breakdown of relationships. Patients with poor health literacy may not only have problems with reading. Don’t send mix messages. In a single day, healthcare workers can speak to people of varying educational, cultural and social backgrounds and they must do so in an effective, caring and professional manner. 2. In a study by Davis et al. Trust in the skills of the interdisciplinary care team, and don’t make a recommendation if you aren’t comfortable doing so. If the complications of statin medication are not conveyed to the patient, he/she might not realize that his/her muscle aches and darkened urine are a rare complication from taking the medication. Without re-training, providers had a tendency to revert to their original method of care delivery and health communication.5 Staff buy-in is a considerable hurdle to cross, since staff quite often will be resistant to changing accustomed care delivery behaviors without proper incentive. Ineffective communication nullifies any attempt at care provision. The Joint Commission defines a three-pronged approach to addressing effective communication in a healthcare setting.2 This approach requires that, healthcare systems incorporate methods to assess: The above methods should be standardized throughout the system. This inadvertently influences the way they deliver healthcare. Robinson, TE, White, GL Jr & Houchins, JC 2006, ‘Improving Communication with Older Patients: Tips from the Literature’, Family Practice Management, vol. If the patient is actually frightened, then you will have to approach them differently than if they are truly angry over something, such as a long wait time. The following diagrams illustrate four different interpersonal distances (Hall 1966): Public distance: for public address, formal, for larger audiences. Keep your hands and arms in front of your body, not crossed. Each of these steps should be accompanied by an action plan.4,8,11,9 The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method is typically used in creating an action plan. These language gambits can lead to an escalation. Update and discuss relevant medical and support information. National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health & Department of Health and Human Services, Talking With Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook, viewed 13 March 2019. Whilst modern mobile technology has brought with it the benefits of instant connection, it can also be a distraction. AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. You might use written communication when applying for a job or sending an email. This means Try to allay their fears as best you can, answering all their questions as honestly as possible. This leads to negative patient outcomes, increased utilization of emergency and inpatient services and a greater cost burden on healthcare systems. 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