Communication is basically defined as the passage of information from one person to another. The use of communication skills usually ensures that the message decoded exactly the same as it was encode otherwise if its wrongly encoded then the communication is not effective. Communication becomes useful as people can exchange views or ideas and resolve problems. Different and in fact all institutions ranging from political institutions to healthcare institutions rely on communication to transfer information among colleagues or from employees to management and vice versa.
There are certain principles that have been described for effective communication to take place. The main components are; Brevity-the message should be concise and to the point; substantial- the message should convey the whole meaning as intended but in shorter length; Clarity- the information contained in the message has to present explicit meaning to avoid ambiguity; Completeness- the message should also be complete providing all the adequate information and finally should be courtesy of the highest order.
The most important reason for effective communication in a health care facility is that communication helps to maintain high quality relationships that in turn keep the people healthy. The way you communicate, the frequency of communication and whether one can initiate a conversation make up the process of effective communication.
Effective communication among peers should cover the use of good communication skills and strategies to manipulate individual and communal choices that boost healthy life. Health Communication has been found to increase the efforts to improve service and responsibility both to personal and the general public health (Kowalski 2008). Communication improves the working of healthcare service providers and encourages the development of all features of health care in disease prevention and healthcare promotion.
The following aspects of healthcare services are likely to improve; the health service provider and patient relations are likely to improve and increase understanding; it encourages individuals to embrace exposure and challenges; peers find psyche to search for and use the appropriate healthcare information; effective communication also improves individuals observance of clinical commendation and course of therapy; it encourages exchange of general healthcare messages and promotion of practice (Kowalski 2008).
Other important circumstances that are as result of peer communication in healthcare institution is that dissemination of information on health hazards to individuals and the community as a whole (risk communication) is very efficient and yields good response (solutions). Health images are able to be freely addressed by media and as a result reach a larger audience that would not have otherwise accessed the information. Finally those seeking healthcare services can learn how to gain access to the healthcare institution and benefit from the services (Kowalski 2008)
Communication barriers in Healthcare scenario can be very hazardous. This is because; any blander could create a very huge problem. The situation in Healthcare gets delicate since it’s closely associated with human life and wellbeing (Sinickas 2007). This is why such healthcare communications warrant utmost care. The healthcare sector has for this reason established specialized consultants of communication; they include Serento Healthcare, Bioquest and Imprimis Life Therapy among others.
Communication barriers are obstacles to effective communication and result in partial or incomplete message being conveyed. There are a number of communication barriers. Note: noise is the main communication barrier and results from many sources ranging from machines to people (Sinickas 2007). They are; Language- the choice of words in speaking is very crucial since wrong interpretation can easily lead to distortion of the information and hence risking the life of patients. Another barrier is receiver’s perception which may be biased- this describes what the receiver perceives that the encoder could be saying when he/she has not understood the message. This is quite dangerous and entails projection and self-fulfilling prophecies. Personal relationship also influence the way people perceive information basing on past experiences. Mis-communication mat sometimes result from cultural differences which covers differences in talking styles, aspirations and other basic values (Kowalski 2008)
Communication has to be very effective for it to be useful. To enhance the effectiveness of communication, people in all the different organization need to improve their communication skills and also make sure that there is increased frequency of communication that is aimed at explicitly addressing issues and providing solutions. The benefits of communication as discussed in the text outweigh the disadvantages by far and therefore the healthcare institutions should work hard enough to improve peer communication and interpersonal relationships for efficient healthcare service provision.
Kowalski K. (2008) Tough Questions; Recognize and Resolve Communication Breakdown: The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 39: 2,pp 57-89. Kowalski & Associats, Larkspur Colorado
Sinickas A (2007) Breaking down departmental barriers: Strategic Communication Management. 12(1), pp11-50. Highbeam Research.