The delivery of Healthcare is a high touch enterprise that calls for interaction among every stakeholder within the healthcare sphere. Communication, whether interpersonal or intrapersonal, is a crucial part of these dealings and may be transformed by the intellectual use of communication tools. Information is the means of support of healthcare. Therefore, communication systems are the backbone that supports the whole idea. Care of patients in the nursing homes now almost unavoidably entails many different people, all with the need to share patient information and talk about their organization. As a result there is an ever increasing attention in the information and communication technology that sustain health services. There exists a huge gap in the wide understanding of the function of communication services in the delivery health care. This paper will review different types of communication methods for the health care organization, including the advantages and disadvantages of using traditional, electronic, and social media for health care communication. The review will then discuss effects of HIPAA and other regulations on the use of these media for health care communication.
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The significant role that communication plays among people in healthcare is often neglected. Basic and very important to all healthcare managerial functions, communication is the means used in the transmission of information and additionally makes an individual understood by the target audience. In a situation where a nursing home faces transition of management and the residents are unable to communicate effectively, have no local family, and have not indicated that they approve the release of their medical information is a crisis many health care administrators face every day. In such situations, communication is a key challenge for administrators since they are solely mandated to provide information, which consequently affects performance in the organization. A communication system is any formal or informal structure that an organization uses to sustain its communication requirements. The system involves components like people, the message needed to be conveyed, the technology that mediate a conversation, and an organizational structure that characterize and limit the conversation that occurs. They are therefore bundles of different kinds of components and the utility of the general system is measured by the correctness of all the components combined. The situation above poses a challenge due to the barriers between reception and feedback. Most of the people to be displaced have no idea why and may even lose their privacy in the process.
In order to solve the crisis above, it is mandatory to review the pros and cons of different kinds of communications. Electronic communications are fast, they are cost-effective and quite convenient. However, these attributes enclose intrinsic disadvantages. The technology that helps people to keep on the go also may invade privacy and cut into valuable time meant for other social activities. Devices such as cell phones with mobility technology and portable computers facilitate communication at all times. This allows one to work and visit sites in public locations, such as trains and other social gatherings. This has enabled people to stop traveling long distances to work and may do so from home. The technology also encourages productivity, for instance, a person intending to meet a professional deadline may save valuable time by working on a mobile gadget before getting to the workplace. Electronic communication is also convenient and instantaneous. It distributes with the need to mail or fax a document that can be stored online or on a portable electronic device to protect it against any kind of loss. These advantages facilitate learning and research. A visit to a clinical website may help out an individual with a complicated health problem. Despite the good attributes, modern electronic communications leave individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks and other forms of online criminal attacks. Additionally, online conversations may pose a physical threat to children. It also exposes people to violent materials and pornography that may become addictive and eventually a health issue. Interruptions and distractions brought about by the modern electronic communications compromise quality time and if left unchecked may damage an individual’s intelligence quotient. Another platform that has received a lot of interest lately is the use of social media in addressing health care issues and extraction of patient information readily available in the social sites. The social media outlets are widespread. An advantage of using it is that it is wide-reaching, user-centric and collaborative in nature. If health care centers embraced the platform, then an interactive channel is guaranteed as most of the users are cooperative. The social sites include blogs, wikis, videoconferencing, multimedia blogging and the diverse websites. Traditional media usage in health care communication is well embraced due to the minimal threats contained. Traditional methods have a simple system of getting information and allow one to make informed decisions. They are simple to learn and understand. However, the traditional media cannot cover all the patients’ needs because of the lack of services and the one way channel. The traditional means is not interactive and may not always target the right audience. It does not always give accurate information and may be biased.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) created in 1996 is a charter with mandated regulations that institute standards to guard the privacy of every individual’s independently exclusive health information. Health care centers must conform to these privacy regulations and all the rules on the subject of the way health centers may or may not use or disclose protected health information (PHI). The regulations intend to shelter the identity, personality and privacy of healthcare patients. Consequently, specific aspects of the healthcare employee culture are needed to change in the manner that employees distribute information and discuss their clients. Healthcare establishments are also mandated to put into effect HIPAA fulfillment from within. This creates additional administrative and training costs. Knowledge of HIPAA effects on healthcare organizations helps to assess the costs, effectiveness, and benefits of the HIPAA regulations. Patients must make contact with the administration so that permission for healthcare providers to share information with each other is obtained. It is illegal for healthcare providers to acquire records from social networks. This only poses as a barrier to effective communication.
According to this paper, communication is essential for any administrator to solve a health care crisis. Whether the health care patient in a nursing home understands the consequences of a new management or not, he/she is entitled to correct information regarding how the process will transpire. Organizations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are a good establishment to protect their (patient) privacy. However, certain sections of their standard regulations need to be changed for the sake of the illiterate person without local families and completely unaware of whether to consent to his/her information being shared. With new developments in communications, health care providers should face smooth communications rather than the old hard system.
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