Avoid Unhealthy Communication Breakdowns at Your Practice

communication_cansA workplace wouldn’t be a workplace without a few communication breakdowns every now and then.

In most situations, interpersonal drama between coworkers results in a few headaches at best or the loss of a sale, client, or vendor at worst.

The stakes may seem high but in the grand scheme of things, they’re not.

But this doesn’t apply to medical practices. The stakes can be life and death which is exactly why communication is such an important part of the business.

A study conducted in the 1990s found that as many as 98,000 patients died in hospitals because of poor communication.

Another alarming statistic is the fact that 85% of medical malpractice is from communication failures.

With lives at stake, it’s vital that you tend to communication breakdowns at your practice and follow some of these tips:

Foster a Social Atmosphere

Going back to the regular workplace example, it’s not uncommon for coworkers to not know each other very well.

While not knowing someone’s name may lead to a few awkward interactions, the consequences of not getting to know your coworkers in a medical setting can be far more serious.

Your entire nursing crew doesn’t need to be best friends, but your practice should foster an atmosphere where people do take the time to get to know each other.

The better people are acquainted, the better they can interpret that individual’s personal communication quirks and way of working.

Furthermore, you can help foster an environment that prioritizes positivity and gratitude.

Simple things like a “thank you” can help people feel heard and respected especially in the high stress environment of a medical practice.

Embrace the Morning Meeting

As the article, “5 Surprising Ways to Fix Communication Breakdowns at Your Practice” explains, morning meetings are a great way for everyone in your practice to get on the same page.

They don’t need to be long, nor should they be.

But an effective daily meeting can help you communicate what’s working, what’s not, and how your team can work more effectively together.

De-stigmatize Criticism

coachingNobody is perfect, even the highly educated and trained people that make up a medical practice.

One of the most important ways you can get ahead of communication breakdowns is by creating an environment where critique is expected and necessary. This will help prevent people from getting defensive or avoiding situations all together.

De-stigmatizing criticism is important because often times the hierarchies in a medical practice create a system where people are afraid to ask their superiors questions they fear are too “obvious.”

Studies have found that these specific types of communication breakdowns are responsible for medical mishaps.

By making it “okay” for nurses and interns to not know everything, you’re helping avoid worst-case scenarios.

Communication is an integral part of any successful workplace or business. But because of the high stakes of the medical field, it’s even more important for your practice.

By holding meetings and encouraging socializing and transparency, you can keep your communication healthy.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including communication and small business.