Collaboration is king in healthcare. Units cannot succeed without proper communication between everyone in the staff. To increase your facility’s efficiency and productivity, read on all the ways you can facilitate better collaboration between healthcare providers (HCPS.)
Why is collaboration so important in healthcare?
Healthcare services are inherently a team effort. HCPs from different disciplines, levels, and even walks of life must work together to identify and carry out the most effective possible care plan. Licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants may defer to registered nurses, but their efforts still remain important when it comes to giving the best possible care services.
Pharmacists, doctors, and nurses have different areas of expertise, and good communication allows them to share their knowledge and coordinate their efforts for the greater good. Without constant collaboration and effective communication, the hospital workplace becomes bedlam. Efforts are not coordinated, no one knows what the patient needs, and the potential for costly medical errors rises dramatically.
As many as 80% of serious medical errors can be directly attributed to miscommunication, for this reason. Conversely, better collaboration has been directly linked to more accurate diagnoses and increased patient satisfaction across the board. When HCPs work together, patients are safer and facilities avoid needless costs as a result of medical errors.
How do I promote better collaboration in my units?
Teamwork is not something that develops overnight. To facilitate effective collaboration between HCPs, facility managers need to create a strong culture that promotes and encourages it. There are many ways to approach this, but here are a number of suggestions worth considering:
Respect the differences of others
Healthcare teams are more diverse now, than they have ever been. Your typical healthcare team will include healthcare providers from different cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, specializations, and more. If you want your workers to buy into a culture of collaboration, you need to make them feel welcome in the first place. Facilities need to invest towards promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Bringing in leaders who respect these values, holding cultural sensitivity training and diversity seminars for staff to attend are just some of the avenues that can be explored.
Adjust your approach
Whether you manage a single unit or entire facility, there is no one approach that will work on everyone. For example: some HCPs have trouble expressing what they feel, while others will tell you outright. While certain coworkers may come off as withdrawn, others are more personable and outgoing. There is no one communication method that will work for everyone. Managers need to learn how to change their approach to interacting with others, based on who they are talking to. This process will feel trial-and-error but with enough time, it will come naturally.
Encourage a two-way conversation
Communication is not simply telling others what to do. If you want to make your fellow HCPs feel seen, they need to know they are being heard. Encourage them to provide their feedback when necessary. Let them raise concerns regarding current facility operations (within reason) or your managing style. The workplace culture trickles down from the top. When they see you taking feedback seriously and hearing out others, they will follow your example with their own interactions.