December 6, 2012
Nursing Home Administrator
Great communication in any type of health care facility is crucial. It is the level of communication that determines the outcome for the patients of the practice. Whether that outcome is good or bad, it is in the facilities hands. As a nursing home administrator, it is their job to ensure every policy and rule is regulated to its full potential. They also have the responsibility of informing any and every member within the facility about HIPAA rules and regulations. By administering these two steps alone go into the whole patient quality experience. This keeps the practice at a stable and regulated condition for ensuring the patient receives the best care that they possibly can. Change in a nursing home or any health care facility can bring about much unwanted stress on every team member. This can start from the physicians and administrators and beam down to the patients. In a time of this level of stress it is most important to always follow the proper chain of command. This lightens the load and keeps much conflict and confusion under the radar. Communication will remain at an effective high point if these steps are followed properly. If these steps are either missed or not followed correctly then the practice faces the chance of approaching communication failure, which is what should be avoided at all costs. As an administrator it is always important to keep up with the latest communication methods and trends. They need to be aware of the latest technology and process. This will give the practice that cutting edge to place them above the rest. If an administrator is informed that changes will take place within a crucial time span, they have to be ready to take immediate action for the sake of the patients. For instance, if a nursing home facility gets notified that they will be sold to a national group. Every single detail from this change will have to be handled in a careful and effective fashion by the administrator. In this scenario some of the patients will not be able to receive care from the new purchaser because of insurance conflicts and policy changes. The situation becomes more challenging because some of the patients either having difficulty communicating, no local or near family, or have not consented to the release of medical information. These situations need to be recognized by the administrator and resolved accordingly. This may seem to be a hard and impossible task but it is simpler than what meets the eye. The administrator should have a mass meeting in reference to the communication and attention processes that will be soon to come within the first few weeks. The administrator and staff need to have a personal one on one discussion with every patient that is within that facility. The administrator should send out letters to all of the patient’s families whom are available. Some of the patients whom are older and are not able to comprehend will require come time to discuss their options with someone who is the caregiver or relative. These methods will have to take place in order to get every patient in their correct facility and taken care of. This is where the different methods of communication will take place because the patients will have to find a good way to communicate with the facility. First, there is traditional communication which is the base for all communication methods. This can be performed either through face to face interaction, over the telephone, or sending out statements. This method will always be the primary method simply due to the personal time taken to put forth action. Traditional is more formal than the rest of the methods. It is always effective and can always be used in any situation or scenario. There are some disadvantages that can arise from using this type of communication although the chance is very slight. Most patients that are living in the new age are always on the go. Most of them would rather communicate over email or some sort of electronic device. Older individuals prefer to have the rational communication over the fancy technology. Second comes the electronic ways to communicate which seems to be taking the healthcare industry by storm. Physicians would prefer to communicate with other physicians and medical staff via technology gadgets. Ways to electronically communicate include email, txt, video chat, etc. These methods happen to be more sufficient and less time consuming because of a physicians busy schedule. When a physician must immediately consult with another physician in regards to a particular patient, neither of them have to make it imperative to have a live meeting due to the different ways that they can relay information to one another. HIPAA regulations have a tight hold on what information can be sent and retrieved via email or fax. Although this is legal, the sender and receiver must be conscious of how they are using these machines. Using electronic methods of communication in healthcare is very beneficial if and when utilized correctly. Finally social media plays a big role in how successful a facility becomes. Now that social media has took the world by storm it’s almost imperative to perform communication through social media. This method is most effective for the non - knowing or knowing of a certain healthcare facility. This works great for promoting the practice or facility and sharing patient testimonials. With the help of social media, there are more chances to communicate and share health news information. Social media has not only had a great impact on the world but the health care world as well. The benefits are endless and they are growing faster and more efficient each day. One disadvantage is the lack of a person to person connection. All of the ways to communicate have to be within HIPAA guidelines and regulations. As far as any communication or sharing of patient information must be consented by the patient with a signed medical release form. This practice must have this completed before anything can be shared. Photos cannot be shared over media sites to promote the facility if there is an actual patient in the photo without their consent. The rules must be implemented and followed in order for traditional, electronic, and social media to be used correctly and effectively.
Sarringhaus, M. M. (2011). The Great Divide: Social Media's Role in Bridging Healthcare's Generational Shift. Journal Of Healthcare Management, 56(4), 235-244.
Leman, H. (2012). Social Media in Healthcare: Connect, Communicate, Collaborate. Journal Of The Medical Library Association, 100(2), 148-149. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.100.2.018