One of the pillars that contribute to effective patient care is smooth communication, whether between healthcare professionals or with patients. It has been seen time and again that not establishing a proper communication channel can hugely impair the quality of healthcare. The use of information and communication technologies to support healthcare services has created a better space for exchanging the latest medical practices and advice with the world. However, in the Indian context, there are still some gaps that need to be filled.
Effective communication plays quite a huge role in the foundation of quality care and impacts the accuracy of diagnosis as well as patient satisfaction. Creating a relationship is especially important in healthcare services as it depends on the human touch. There are multiple aspects of communication, including the one between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel, which is crucial for adopting life-changing healthcare practices to treat patients. However, when it comes to India, until recently, the medical field had not given much importance to teaching and learning communication. Whether talking about ethics, formal training or inculcating the right attitude, there has been a lack of initiative when it comes to communication skills for the healthcare professional. This is one of the reasons why Indians are wary of receiving medical care from appropriate doctors, and hence, it needs to be changed.
As major healthcare organizations are emphasizing on quality, healthcare professionals are now being trained to communicate competently. For example, the Medical Council of India revised its curriculum in 2019 and introduced AETCOM (Attitude, Ethics, and Communication Module) to teach young professionals about better communication. Various healthcare organisations are now providing training to professionals at work. Hospitals can connect with Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations or CAHO that is an eminent body offering various courses like communication training, hospital training programmes, infection control nurse course, etc. Integrating such courses can contribute in a great manner to reduce medical errors, improve patient compliance and better patient satisfaction.
Creating a culture of effective communication will take time as it is quite complex, but its significance cannot be downplayed at all. Healthy and strong communication in the healthcare industry is a key aspect for successfully running the daily operations. The role of the professional doesn’t matter, every person should possess strong communication skills. Whether through role-play or practise, communication skills should be in the arsenal of every healthcare professional in India.