Patients Suffer from Doctors’ Poor Communication

Topics: Hospital, Physician, Health care Pages: 3 (763 words) Published: April 21, 2011
By Jason R. Osborn
All Right Reserved

Communication is paramount in life. Let’s be honest this isn’t specifically a healthcare issue, or a business issue, but a life issue. As individuals we must be able to communicate effectively with our family; our parents, our spouses, our kids, our close friends, and our work colleagues. Communication is key to a quality life.

Recently there was a study conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR). The study examined emergency and primary care physicians' ability-and willingness-to communicate found that haphazard communication and poor coordination can undermine effective care. It was found that little attention has been paid to the patients care coordination that had been treated in hospital emergency departments (EDs).

Follow-up care by the primary doctor after a patient leaves the ER is also spotty. "Sometimes we try to piece together what happened based on the handouts a patient gets (in the emergency department) ... it's that primitive,” one family physician told the researchers. On the other hand, emergency dept. doctors said many, “family docs have little idea that their nurses or associates are sending a particular patient to the ER, and may not even find out if they fax follow-up records and recommendations to them.” These statements show findings of dual breakdowns in communication from both sides of the treatment system.

The coordination of communication presents a significant challenge to managers as they seek to effectively manage interdependencies by establishing linkages within and outside their organizations. Communication is the creation or exchange of ideas or understanding between sender(s) and receiver(s). In this case we are discussing that of the Physician and staff of the Emergency department communicating with that of the Primary Care...

Cited: Lee Bowman. “Patients Suffer From Doctors’ Poor Communication.”
THE SEATTLE TIMES March 9, 2011.
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