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Communicating in Health and Social Care Organizations


Communication is a very crucial facet in the healthcare environment. No care of any significance can be delivered to patients without proper communication between all the parties involved. Healthcare professional have to understand patients need. After running a proper diagnosis, they have to provide pharmacists, patients and other specialists with such information in the form of prescriptions and advice. Inter-professional communication is also very significant to make the whole care delivery system efficient. Inter-professional communication occurs in different forms and may involve different steps. It may simply involve each specialist carrying out his duties well.

Task 1. Case Study Report

A client has a communication problem, that is, he does not allow people to express themselves well. Whenever something is being explained, he assumes he already understands what the matter is and thus cannot concentrate. This complicates issues in the healthcare environment and causes difficulties for a care specialist in explaining the results of diagnosis and other medical processes. For this reason, he is unable to participate well in the process. This also frustrates medical specialists and caregivers. In a communication model between him and medical specialist, he introduces ‘noises’, which hampers the process of sharing meaning between the two parties. This disturbs medical specialists as they understand how important it is for him to listen attentively and understand what they say as it enables him to follow instructions and, consequently, to recover fast and stay healthy.


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The theory of cognitive dissonance provides explanations that can help to explain him why listening is important. He is always attempting to appear as if he is very advanced and has in-depth knowledge in everything. In his attempt to prove that he knows ‘everything’, he is not listening. He assumes that he is similar to medical specialists. This behaviour hinders any meaningful communication. It can also be seen as trying to avoid dissonance. The theoretical accommodation theory can also be very important to this person, who needs to understand that any message conveyed is important and worth understanding. For this reason, he does not need to try to seek convergence or divergence with the speaker (Doyle 1994). The recipient needs to remain neutral about the message and the speaker as well as listen keenly in order to get the information.

In the light of two theories mentioned above, it would be important to communicate to this client and emphasize the importance of listening keenly, especially in a healthcare environment (Leake 2008). In this environment, information is of paramount importance, but noises in the channel of communication hinder smooth transmission of the message. Therefore, he should not fear being seen as not knowledgeable about something as it is the only way to teach him. Furthermore, he should always listen to specialists and give his opinion only when asked. He should also be willing to apply all the information learned and follow specialists’ advice. From the theoretical accommodation theory, he should not consider how he will be perceived or if he will be accommodated or not, the most important thing in this case would be to allow effective communication.

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When a person walks into a hospital to be checked, treated or advised, it is important to note that medical specialists are trained to effectively do it. Medical specialists are trusted to assist such a person both medically and psychologically in order to cultivate an environment that can help them heal fast. The psychological aspect relies heavily on communication. Consequently, nurses and other specialists in the environment are trained how to communicate well. The results of each and every test should be communicated clearly to the patients or the clients. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of patients/client to contribute to generating the right environment and understand what nurses say. The expected results, consequences as well as side effects of every treatment procedure need to be understood clearly. The patient has the responsibility to understand and should listen and create the right environment for communication.

Organizational policies are very important for effective communication. The policies that are emphasized in this organization include the importance of a quiet communication environment without noises in the communication channel. Privacy of patients’ or clients’ information is highly valued and adhered to as well as courtesy and empathy while talking to users of healthcare services. Such policies are outlined in the form of the results of various tests that should be communicated to patients almost promptly. Patients are advised to be receptive and make the whole process efficient. To safeguard privacy of a patient, his/her health details are only discussed with him/her or with any other necessary person, as the situation may allow. In such instances, the patient’s family can be informed or participate in treatment. Such information is discussed away from crowds and preferably in enclosed locations. Thirdly, a specialist’s tone in relaying some information is checked so that he or she may not express carelessness or pleasure at the patients’ illness. Health care specialists should talk to clients in a formal, empathetic and reassuring tone.

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Although legislation may not be exhaustive in defining how communication should be carried out in health care settings, patients’ privacy in healthcare is well covered in this area. However, various charters and codes of conducts, especially specific to various specialists in the healthcare environment, define how specialists ought to communicate (Salmon 2000). Unfortunately, there is no formal way of advising patients and clients on how to communicate effectively with health care specialists. Clients’ privacy and the right to timely feedback are emphasized. Additionally, they emphasize how specialists’ way of communication plays a pivotal role in developing a psychological environment necessary for quick recovery of clients. Over the recent past, such codes are being refined to ensure that they match the customer-care code of communication found in the corporate world. From the scenario above, patients should learn to communicate well to complement the efforts of medical specialists and make communication more efficient.

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Task 2. Written Report

There are some instances in which some members of staff may feel uncomfortable, especially while working in groups with other professional teams. Inter-professional teams are groups with very specific dynamics that need to be considered and analysed. There are various reasons why this happens. In inter-professional teams, some form of superiority and inferiority complexes may develop between various professions. Some professionals that are considered or consider themselves to be higher than the rest may develop superiority complex. Because of their perceived ‘elevated statuses’, they may fail to relate well with the others. They may also make communication impossible.

In the case of Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), the doctor could not sign transfer forms as seen earlier. The doctor could have considered a request from a crisis-care worker and sign the forms an instance of insult or insubordination. This can be seen by the statement that a doctor is not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. There also seems to have been instances of poor coordination, when doctors had to call a crisis-care worker, whom it took more than 15 hours to arrive. This was not worth doing as the journey to the other hospital would have been much shorter. It is not clear whose mistake it was, but the doctor could have offered the boy transfer instead of letting him stay for that long without treatment.

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In case of inter-professional teams, all the professionals represented are supposed to function as a team. Seniority and other forms of competition should be ignored. Each and every member should play their roles well; doctors should ensure that they fill in all the required papers to make other processes faster. Other professionals such as crisis-care workers should ensure that they arrive timely whenever they are called upon so that patients can be assisted in the shortest time. Nurses, in turn, should serve their roles well and be more concerned about the well-being of patients than their workload (Schaefer & Saunders-Smith 2000).

In order to make every professional team feel comfortable in an inter-professional group, each of them should understand and perform their roles well. Each person’s role becomes paramount, and everyone should perform his/her duties well whenever called upon. Communication becomes very important. Inter-professional communication makes processes efficient. For instance, if the doctor in NHH did not write his comments and filled in transfer forms, specialists in Hotel Dieu would not be able to take care of this boy. This resulted in making the whole process inefficient, and it required a doctor to be sought from Kingston General Hospital. Inter-professional communication may take a form of one performing his/her duties well and make processes more efficient.

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In NHH, there are several instances in which communication was not effective. One of them is the instance when a doctor asked a boy questions in the waiting room. This violates the privacy of the patient or the client. Doctors should ask such questions in their private consultation rooms, where the audience is selected. However, the doctor did not ask questions in an appropriate place. As a result, every person in the hospital hall could receive patient’s personal information, which is not desirable. Additionally, some questions that the doctor asked the boy and the environment where he did it were not adequate for making diagnosis. The boy replied ‘yes’ for every question, contrary to what he answered later on. Environment is a very important aspect of communication. The boy could have just answered everything positively because of anger, frustration, and fear he felt while being among others.

Another instance of inappropriate communication is the doctor’s refusal to fill in the transfer form. This was a crucial item of professional communication, which would have allowed the boy to be treated promptly in the Hotel Dieu. Lack of this item of professional communication required the boy’s family to take him to another hospital to have the form filled, which is very inefficient.

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In all the instances, a professional group took a very personal approach to communication. For instance, the doctor was very arrogant and did not carry out his professional responsibility of filling in professional documents such as transfer forms. The doctor shows unprofessional conduct in communication because he received information from the hospital call centre and considered it as true without conducting his own examination. This was the reason why he asked the boy if he wanted to harm himself. A doctor should not make such assertions without communicating to a patient first (Roter & Hall 2006).

The method that was used in NHH seems very inefficient as it led to waste of time and resources. In addition, it leads to suspense and anxiety among the parents and left the boy scared. Reviewing this process, it can be concluded that communication between the doctor and the crisis-care worker should have been more efficient. The doctor should have arrived sooner than he/she did. In addition, he should have observed the boy for longer and launched a meaningful interview with the boy in the right environment so that he could make a proper conclusion. The doctor should also have filled in various data in the form including the transfer data when the need arose. The hospital should have updated the boy’s parents on all processes so that they were not kept in suspense. This could have enabled them to relax and plan each subsequent step effectively. If it all had been done, the whole process could have been more efficient, and time and resources could have been saved. ICT could have been used to make the process of sharing information between these professionals efficient (Courtney, Shabestari & Kuo 2013).

Task 3. Report

Care Quality Commissions Report (CQC)

There are several aspects that make a facility to be considered as not well led. If the CQC concludes that a facility is not ‘well led’, this generally means that the management and the organization have several notable aspects, which it has failed to respond to effectively, leading to reduction in the quality of services delivered (Nemeth 2008).

Aspects of Poor Leadership May Include the Following

  • Poor communication to the patients and clients.
  • Ignoring patients’ and community’s views.
  • Failure to deliver hospital’s values.
  • Lack of quality assurance of any significance.
  • Lack of prioritization of issues that affect people’s care and safety.
  • Lack of proper record keeping, (records are not up- to-date).

This affects the facility’s ability to manage peoples care well.

The Aspects Mentioned above Are not Desirable Because:

  • It reduces the quality of care that people get.
  • It erodes the community’s confidence in the health care system.
  • It may reduce the quality of life of the community.
  • May lead to death, which could otherwise be prevented.

Use of ICT

  • ICT can be used for coordination, which increases efficiency provided that there is proper management.
  • It enhances very fast communication and exchange of information.
  • It allows proper and organized record keeping.
  • It allows very easy and efficient retrieval of data.
  • Because of the use of social media, ICT becomes a crucial way through which the community and a health care facility may and exchange views and ideas (Winkelman 2006).

How ICT Can Be Used to Respond to the Challenges Pointed by CQC Report

  • ICT forms a basis for keeping very current and dynamic records in a very efficient way. It also allows very easy data retrieval.
  • This can make it easy for healthcare management to easily get ways of prioritizing issues of community care and people’s safety.
  • With ICT, it will also be easier to keep up-to-date records of patients for prioritization and affirmative action (Courtney, Shabestari & Kuo 2013).
  • ICT will also make the flow of information between various professionals in the healthcare environment efficient.

Benefits of ICT to the Community

  • Through the use of social media, a hospital can get feedback about the quality of services received by the community.
  • Healthcare facilities can also inform or easily broadcast information to the communities through the social media (Gregory 2011).
  • Issues of privacy may arise from the use of ICT. When patients’ information is in the hospital system, it can be obtained by all people with access to such system.
  • This requires that all the professionals have utmost secrecy and do not use such information without patients’ consent.
  • Legal considerations on ICT would mostly affect privacy of patients’ information, and a facility would need to have measures to respond to that (Dornhoffer 2000).


Effective communication is crucial in every process. In the healthcare environment, lack of effective communication can deny a patient or the community quality health care and even lead to loss of life. For this reason, healthcare professionals should learn the means of making communication efficient. Inter professional communication has to be very efficient so that health care delivery is fast and least resources are utilized. Inter-professional communication may take many forms and include activities such as filling in professional forms among others.

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At the same time, communication to a patient and his/her family remains very important. It helps the patient to create the right psychological environment to regain and retain health. Additionally, it reduces suffering to patients’ families and assists them to plan the next course of action. The treatment process can be tedious and require the patients’ family to be kept up to date as surprises may make them less responsive or may reduce the quality of their response. ICT comes to make inter-professional communication in the healthcare environment very efficient. For instance, filling in a form by a doctor in doctors’ room means that it is available to all other healthcare professions in real time. With the help of social media, ICT can also assist healthcare facilities to interact with communities and enhance health care delivery.



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