Modern technology has significantly impacted the way we live our day-to-day lives, and the way we interact not only with those around us, but also with companies, brands, institutions, healthcare providers, and more. In terms of communications, technology has evolved to the point in which everyone can be connected to someone else in a matter of seconds, regardless of geography or time zones. The swiftness with which we can now broadcast messages has had a momentous impact on the corporate environment, but also on how industries such as healthcare interact with their patients and visitors.
Hospitals all over the world are embracing the ever-expanding need of communicating in a modern and efficient way not only with their patients, but also they are embracing the need for internal communications between all employees and healthcare workers. Implementing a comprehensive internal communication strategy helps hospitals improve their overall activity, but most importantly, their relationship with their patients.
But what makes internal hospital communications such an important field when it comes to the quality of patient care and why should hospitals be interested in improving their internal communication strategies or in creating new ones?
The Importance of Internal Hospital Communications
Although internal communications and all the strategies surrounding it seem to be have only recently gained popularity throughout all industries, internal hospital communication is not a novelty in the healthcare industry, conferences on the subject were held worldwide as early as 1964. In the United States, various studies have been conducted throughout the years in order to find appropriate and highly effective means of internal communications and of organizing the personnel for achieving an increase in the quality of patient care. If 30 years ago internal hospital communications and the means in which hospitals organized their employee communications were getting moderate results, with the development of new technologies and communication strategies, those results began to significantly improve, reaching an impressive success rate in modern times.
According to the American Hospital Association, US hospitals treated 143 million people in their emergency departments, they have provided 605 million outpatient visits, performed over 27 million surgeries, and delivered nearly 4 million babies in 2016. Also, 5.9 million people were directly employed by hospitals two years ago. The healthcare industry is also an important component of the economy, one that provides stability and creates jobs for a significant number of people, therefore it is of utmost importance that the industry develops properly, and in tune with patient care quality.
The benefits of internal hospital communications:
- Internal communication between hospital works is essential in making sure that all operations run smoothly and that patient care is provided to the best of the institution’s abilities
- Internal hospital communications enable a seamless communication process through which important messages can be broadcasted with swiftness
- Hospital employees can easily keep track of all activities and operations with the help of a modern internal communication solution that allow a multi-channel broadcasting of messages
- Allows management to respond to all employee concerns and suggestions, but also to gather and analyze their feedback in order to improve hospital procedures and communication strategies
Internal Hospital Communications Best Practices for Quality Patient Care
All the aspects we’ve mentioned have a high potential of driving quality patient care if drafted and implemented with care and in-depth analysis, as a better communication between hospital employees means that activities are conducted with success, and patients benefits from the streamlining of all communications. Therefore, knowing the essential best practices for internal hospital communications with help your hospital increase the quality of patient care services and the overall productivity of the institution. Also, an internal hospital communications executed with patient care and hospital objectives in mind will result in a better cooperation between employees but also provide you with important metrics to analyze and upon which to base further developments.
Drafting an Internal Hospital Communications Plan
All employee communication actions need to rely and be taken based on a meticulously drafted and executed internal communications plan. The plan needs to unambiguously target the needs of your hospital and the requirements of the employees that are working for you, as well as the prerequisites of your hospital’s structure. Make sure that you are also taking into account healthcare industry regulations, and that your plan has a part that handles feedback gathering and analyzing, and that you are using all the metrics provided by your internal communication solution to further improve or update your communication strategies.
Creating Templates for Important or Urgent Messages
The most essential benefit of an internal communication solution is that it allows you to create templates for those important messages you need to broadcast to your employees but also for personnel emergency situations that might arise. Make sure you are analyzing all possible crisis situations and create templates for a wide array of issues that your employees need to be aware of. This way you will not only save time by not having to create the message when or if a situation arises, but also you will provide your hospital, patients, and employees with a safe working environment, in which information travels fast, and everyone knows what to do and who to contact in the event of an emergency/but not only.
Requesting Patient Feedback and Integrating it with Internal Communications
Ask your patients about the care you are providing them, ask them to give you feedback or share their concerns, questions, or advice in order to create a comprehensive report which to analyze and use for improving your strategies. Make sure that your feedback requests also target the way your employees are interacting with the patients and even with each other, as patients may have noticed something you are missing. Based on the feedback you will receive, amend or improve your internal hospital communications strategies to work on the areas you are not performing to the expectations of your patients, or create new features you were currently lacking. Work with your employees and with the internal communication team in order to come up with ideas upon which to better implement patient feedback.
Automating Hospital Activities and Areas of Your Internal Communications Strategies
A good internal communications strategy that is executed with the help of a modern internal communication solution will allow you to automate a significant percentage of employee communication needs, thus allowing your employees to spend more time involved in patient care. Automate messages that you were sending out regularly, such as information about maintenance, feedback requests, general hospital information, and any other messages that don’t require immediate human interaction.
Internal hospital communication is an area of the healthcare industry that, although has seen a significant development over the years, still need thorough upgrading in order to improve not only its efficiency but also to drive quality patient care and improve the way hospital employees use their time. Making sure that your hospital has an in-depth, well-thought of internal communications plan will increase the quality of your patient care and the overall productivity of your hospital. Don’t forget to get feedback from both patients and employees throughout the whole process.