Handbook of Healthcare Management
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Handbook of Healthcare Management

Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky

The Handbook of Healthcare Management is a comprehensive examination of key management practices for global healthcare organizations, arguing that insight into and implementation of these practices is essential for success and sustainability.
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Chapter 9: Communication

Charles F. Wainright and Amanda Raffenaud


In the opening passage, what appears to be the main difficulty surrounding this brief healthcare vignette? What might Diane, the other team members, and the supervisor have done to improve the communication among all parties and help to relieve the frustration created from the interactions among all the individuals involved? Why should we be concerned as to whether the communication activities among individuals in a healthcare setting actually work well? The answer is very straightforward: communication is critical to the smooth operations and flow of work processes with all organizations. However, this is especially true within healthcare facilities and organizations. Without appropriate, timely and accurate exchange of information among all parties within the healthcare setting, the consequences can be disastrous. Patients may get the wrong medication and/or treatments, or staff may create situations that damage the confidence of patients, families, and staff in each other. Serious mistakes may arise, resulting in injury and or death to any or all individuals working or being served in these facilities. If this is a critical aspect of patient care experience, then all healthcare personnel must understand what good communication is and how to effectively communicate with each other, patients, family members, and all other necessary parties. Communication is a deliberate process where information is exchanged between two or more individuals and usually has a specific reason or purpose for this information exchange activity (Shannon and Weaver, 1949).

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