Communication is a crucial part of survival in all aspects of life, whether it is expressing your feelings to a loved one, fighting for a right, making business transactions at work and so on and so forth. Humans’ having the ability to communicate is what makes us superior to all other creatures in this world. Unfortunately, in the health sector of many countries, there is a definite lack of communication, both on the patients’ end as well as the specialists. This communication gap needs to be filled due to numerous reasons discussed below.
A lot of the times, the medical practitioner i.e. doctor/specialist is blamed for the claimed communication gap. Research shows that the way a healthcare professional communicates with his patients can make a huge difference to them. With better communication, patients tend to follow their doctor’s medical advice more. Similarly, good communication also leads to the patient avoiding behaviors that are harmful to health when told by a practitioner.
This problem seems to be big enough that many studies have been carried out on it, and the results show that the communication skills between a healthcare practitioner and a patient not only satisfy the patient, but they also educate him/her on the problem at hand which makes it easier to work on the solution i.e. how to prevent the problem. This makes the job of a practitioner much easier as well as keeping the patient in good health.
The Institute for Healthcare Communication has carried out its own research which lists the numerous positive results that can come from effective communication of both parties in the healthcare sector. These include:
Accuracy in the diagnostic decisions – This is a crucial step for the treatment of the patient. If the patient is diagnosed properly, the higher the chances become of an effective treatment. What effective communication does is build a comfortable environment for the patient to able to express his problem to the medical practitioner. He’ll be able to better explain their health issue which makes it easier to find a solution.
Of course, it goes without saying, if the medical practitioner does not hear the complete story from their patient, the chances of an accurate diagnosis will fall. This can have serious consequences because if misdiagnosed, treatment may be able to cause more harm than good health-wise, as well as thousands of dollars wasted. Usually, this happens if the healthcare professional does not bother or allow the patient to tell the complete side of their story.