Hi-Touch Healthcare WRITTEN COMMUNICATION WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS PRESENTATION Background Key components to effective written communication Forms of written communication Misinterpretation in communication Tips for effective communication BACKGROUND The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) states that "70% of sentinel events are directly related to ineffective and poor communication between multi-disciplinary healthcare providers." (Willingham & Eden (2007). Oncology Nursing Forum, V34(2). KEY COMPONENTS TO EFFECTIVE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION Factual Objective Respectful Confidential KEY COMPONENTS TO EFFECTIVE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION Non-judgmental Non-emotional Correct grammar Correct spelling Use of legal abbreviations WRITTEN COMMUNICATION IN HEALTHCARE Forms of written communication: • • • • • • • Paper charting Interdepartmental memos E-mail Electronic Health Care Records (EHR’s) Text messages Patient education information Discharge instructions MISINTERPRETATION IN COMMUNICATION Words can mean different things to different people Healthcare workers use acronyms and medical terminology that lay people, including patients and families, may not understand CASE EXAMPLE A new monitor technician in a local hospital ICU is being oriented to the unit. A new patient is admitted from surgery and she overhears the nurses talking about the “cabbage patient” (CABG – coronary artery bypass graft) CASE EXAMPLE The entire day she thinks she made the wrong choice in jobs because she thinks they are talking about the patient being a “vegetable” and are being disrespectful ACTIVITY Weasel Words Exercise • Weasel words are words that can be misinterpreted PATIENT RECORDS 4 main areas of error in patient records: 1. Making false entries 2. Not maintaining adequate records 3. Stating that certain care or observations were carried out when they weren’t 4. Failure to implement an action plan when a problem is discovered (Fowler, 2014) E-MAIL GUIDELINES Include a specific subject line Keep it focused Identify yourself Do not e-mail an angry message Proofread before sending Be courteous Do not assume your e-mail is private Avoid fancy fonts TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Use precise language Don’t use specialized language your reader may not know Keep sentences short and to the point Seek feedback – your message may not be as clear as you think ACTIVITY – READ YOUR LAST… Read your last work e-mail Read your last personal e-mail Read your last text message Read your last Facebook posting, Tweet, Instagram, etc. CONCLUSION Questions? Comments?