Patient Physical Communication
Communication in hospital affects in a great way the health of the society. Many people in the world especially those with no knowledge of the medical world miss out a lot when doctors use medical terms to explain health conditions. In fact, many people cannot device a personal prevention plan because they do not know the exact issues with their health conditions. The problem arises with doctors using jargon words to address patients something that leaves patients amused but in total ignorance. Ideal communication between doctors and patients can go a long way in improving the general health of the society. Doctors have the mandate to inform patients of their condition in the simplest words possible to help them take care of themselves while at home. Cases have been reported where misdiagnosis occurred because the patients did not understand the questions the doctors asked thus giving false information. Hospitals are about communication, therefore, there must exist clear communication between doctors and patients to achieve success in healthcare (Ha and Longnecker 39). This evaluation will aid in determining the kind of questions doctors pose to patients and the level of understanding among the patient. In connection to this, the evaluator will design communication tools that can enhance communication between patients and doctors for better healthcare delivery.
Prior Evaluation and Their Limitation
A lot of research has been done on this topic of patient-physician communication to help establish the issues affecting communication between doctors and patients. Evidence based practice has become part of healthcare operations especially in nursing practices. However, regardless of the positive results that evidence based practices have shown in nursing and clinical activities, less has been done to include the same approach in other areas of healthcare. The traditional functioning of a doctor required him or her to provide medical solutions to patients without having any relationship with the client, besides, it is the nurses and other physicians who interact one on one with patients. Communication on doctors part did not seem that important in the past hence the issues in doctor-patient communication (Heisler et al. 244).
Research indicates that ideal communication between patients and doctors acts as a therapeutic mechanism that helps patients deal with their specific conditions effectively. One of the proposed ways that doctors can use to enhance communication with patients is through decision-making. Research indicates that involving patients in decision-making helps in achieving effective healthcare delivery on the hospitals part and improved health on the patient’s part. Partnership in decision-making takes care of patient needs and ensures that doctors are not all in control of the situation. Patients have become quite knowledgeable in the 21st century and people have different ways in which they desire to be served. Failing to incorporate their ideas in the treatment process can bring about resistance, which can be detrimental to the health of the patient. Communication shows that doctors appreciate the patient’s desires regardless of how irrelevant they may be for that particular situation (Silverman et al. 91). Additionally, communication helps both doctors and patients come to a clear understanding of various norms that may hinder healthcare delivery if not resolved between the two parties.
Regardless of the many researches done on this topic, only a few have been done on the kind of language that can enhance communication between doctors and patients. Very few program evaluations regarding the kind of questions that can enhance communication between doctors and patients as well as the ideal communication mechanism have been carried out. Much has been done on breaking bad news while ignoring the rest of different levels of communication that exist between these two groups. The main limitation of most of these studies is that program evaluation regarding healthcare takes long thus making it hard to generalize results.
The evaluation will employ the use of four-phase logic model including input, activities, output and outcome phases. The four phases will help in assessing the effectiveness of suing simple language, simple questions, and collaborative communication between patients and doctors. The purpose of this evaluation is to establish how effective alternative new communication mechanism can improve the health of the society. In this evaluation, the evaluator will observe the communication between doctors and their patients and note the kind of language and questions answered. To evaluate the intervention, the same process will be repeated only this time making use of the new communication techniques as suggested by the evaluator, which include collaborative communication, use of specific rather than general questions, and relationship development between the doctors and the patients (Ha and Longnecker 41).
The input part of the model will include the doctors, patients, the hospital administration, and the community. These are the major players in this evaluation hence the input. Each of these must be willing to participate for the evaluation to be effectively evaluated. The results of the program depend highly on the willingness of each party. The patients and doctors will carry out the major part of the program. They are expected to have a normal conversation as they do in a normal work environment to allow the evaluator to gather the correct information. Again, the doctors will be expected to make use of the new suggested techniques for purposes of program evaluation. The hospital administration and in this case the administration of Genesys hospital in grand Blanc Michigan must allow the changes within the institution for easy evaluation of the program. The activities involved in the program include doctors and patients having a conversation either for purposes of treatment, or follow up. Doctors will use an interactive nature while questioning the patients rather than the one-way communication that is mostly experienced in hospitals. The patients will have a chance to ask the doctor some questions to clarify what they do not understand concerning their situation. Additionally, doctors will use questions that are more specific. For instance, rather than asking if a patient is having a bloody discharge, the doctors will ask something like the color of the discharge. This will take care of the many misdiagnosis issues that arise from doctors assuming that patients have the right medical and health knowledge (Silverman et al. 143).
The outputs in the evaluation will include better understanding of ones health condition on the part of the patient, easy treatment of the patient on the doctor’s part, good use of medication among patients and the willingness to share with doctors about personal issues affecting the patient. Additionally, improved communication will help patients follow doctor’s instructions especially something that many patients do not do for lack of knowledge. Clear communication will make patients understand the importance of certain procedures thus improving on the health of the society. The outcome is improved healthcare in the society, which will benefit both the hospital and the community.
The evaluation will be carried out at Genesys hospital in Grand Blanc Michigan. Ten doctors will be used for the study where the researcher will devise surveys for the ten doctors to establish the kind of questions and the language they use in questioning the patients. Additionally, twenty patients will be given the same survey to see of they understand the questions. This will enable the evaluator to specifically note the hard terms used by doctors as well as get patients opinion on how that kind of language affects their health care reception. Knowledge of the gaps that exist in communication between patients and doctors is the first step towards and effective intervention and the use of evidence based practice in Medicare.
Process Evaluation Design
To evaluate the process, the evaluator will make use of the interrupted time series design with a single group commonly known as the simple time series. The evaluation design is ideal for this intervention because the purpose of the research and the evaluation is to improve on the program rather than compare its results with other programs (Silverman et al. 82). Additionally, communication evaluation takes time to establish the real outcomes; therefore, the repetitive nature of the design will help the evaluator come up with unbiased outcome at the end of the study. As such, the evaluation will make of use of observation, interviews, and questionnaires. The evaluator will observe all doctors as they communicate with patients and make note of the patient’s responses to different communication techniques. Additionally, both patients and doctors will be engaged in an informal interview where the evaluator will ask various questions concerning the communication sessions. Lastly, questionnaires will be used to gather information necessary for this study from the doctors, patients and the hospital administration. The same will be done with different communication approaches repeatedly to establish clear process outcome.
Outcome Evaluation Design
Due to the nature of the expected outcome, the evaluation will make use of expert judgment design. The design is quite suited for interventions that produce long-term outcomes thus making it suitable for this particular program evaluation. Surveys for both the patients and the doctors will be used to analyze the outcomes of the new communication techniques (Heisler et al. 250). Additionally, outcome evaluation will help inform the hospital management of the ideal communication skills to instill to their doctors for effectiveness in healthcare and Medicare service delivery.
Benefits for Stakeholders
The key stakeholders in this intervention include the community, the patients, the doctors, and the entire hospital. The patients will benefit from the intervention through improved knowledge of their health conditions. As a result, the community will benefit from a health society where people are well informed on both treatment and preventive measures. Additionally, the mortality rates will reduce because people will be willing to present their health issues to the doctors without expecting any negativity. The health institution will benefit through the achievement of the institutional goal, which is improved health of the society. Doctors will enjoy good relationship with patients, which will help in making work easier on their part. The hospital will also benefit financially since many people will be willing to visit the institution for any health issue because of the new levels of understanding between the doctors and patients (Heisler et al. 251). Lastly, issues of drug misuse will diminish and this will benefit both the society and the healthcare institution.
Ha, Jennifer and Longnecker, Nancy. “Doctor-patient communication: a review.” The ochsner journal, 10.1 (2010): 38-43. Print.
Heisler, Michele, Reynard, Bouknight, Rodney, Hayward, Dylan, Smith, Eve, Kerr. “The Relative Importance of Physician Communication, Participatory Decision Making, and Patient Understanding in Diabetes Self-management.” J Gen Intern Med 17.4 (2002): 243–252. Print.
Silverman, Jonathan, Suzanne M. Kurtz, and Juliet Draper. Skills for communicating with patients. London New York: Radcliffe Publishing, 2013. Print.