A few weeks ago, Truven announced its annual list of the top 100 hospitals. Naturally, this announcement sparked conversation about what it is that puts these hospitals at “the top.” In a recent article, Modern Healthcare took part in the dicussion, stating that the thing these organizations have in common is a culture of communication. And we couldn’t agree more.
Communication, specifically when it is open and honest, reinforces to employees that they have a say in how things are run. In turn, employees become more deeply invested in the daily activities of the organization. At CipherHealth, communication is something we believe has contributed to our success in being named a top healthcare organization. While building this culture isn’t easy, it is a necessary piece in improving patient care, as well as staff satisfaction and retention.
Steps for Improving Communication in Healthcare
1. Understand where gaps in communication occur
In order to truly drive change, you must first understand where and why it needs to occur. There are many ways to approach this, but the most meaningful and direct way is to simply ask staff members. By asking staff members about their day-to-day tasks, how they percieve these tasks, and where they feel the greatest improvements can occur, leaders will understand where and when communication could be enhanced across the organization.
2. Analyze these gaps
A common occurence in any organization is that a single experience creates an anecdote for all experiences. The problem with this generalization is that one experience may be just that, one experience. To get to the heart of the issue, you must gather and analyze information from a range of sources. By analyzing a larger pool of data, you can more reliably spot trends and confirm underlying issues.
3. Act upon feedback
Understanding and analyzing communication within an organization is not enough to drive lasting change. Executives must act upon the feedback to demonstrate the high value that they place on communication. When leaders are transparent about opportunity areas and the steps being taken to improve culture, employees will be confident that their voices are being heard and valued.
To be considered a “top” hospital, open communication among employees, as well as between staff and patients, must be an organization-wide objective. To start the process of gathering staff feedback, click here to contact us for information on how CipherRounds can be used for staff rounding and employee engagment.