Internal Comm.

The Deadly Cost of Healthcare Miscommunication 

Denali Sagner
February 21, 2021
3 minutes

Key takeaways:

  1. With COVID–19, our hospitals are more important than ever. Yet, ineffective hospital communication constantly leaves doctors and patients at risk of malpractice.
  2. Primary care physicians, specialists, and nurses often lose track of patient information through convoluted chains of command.
  3. Through a multimedia podcasting hub, doctors and nurses can access key files, informational videos, and audio messages from hospital leadership.
  4. Hospital workers can engage with audio and video training on their own time, and through interactive quizzes your hospital can track their completion
  5. AIMeCAST can make sure your care process is streamlined, keeping your hospital running efficiently and keeping your patients safe. 

Today, there is more pressure on our healthcare workers than ever. Even as COVID-19 cases are falling in the United States, nearly half of hospitals remain in high or extreme stress. Intensive care units are filled to the brim, doctors and nurses are working long hours, and immunocompromised patients are at high risk of becoming ill with COVID-19. In these circumstances, communication is key, but not always prioritized. In fact, 80% of errors in healthcare are due to informational or personal miscommunications. Here’s how hospital miscommunication can be deadly, and how AIMeCAST plans to fix it. 

Poor communication is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in hospitals. 

In fact, a 2016 study found that nearly 2,000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs could have been avoided by hospitals if they had communicated more effectively. In our healthcare centers, doctors, nurses, technicians, and administrative workers are juggling dozens of patients on the daily. With many hospitals still relying on antiquated technology and chains of command, the consequences for patients in a communication mishap can be dire. 

"With many hospitals still relying on antiquated technology and chains of command, the consequences for patients in a communication mishap can be dire." 

One major issue is a lack of communication between physicians working with the same patient. In many instances, primary care physicians fail to give specific details when referring a patient to a specialist, and upon referral often never speak to the specialist themselves. Poor communication between providers complicates the treatment process, leading to a delay in giving the patient the care they need. Ultimately, if the patient’s medications, medical history, or symptoms are ignored in the transaction between doctors, this can have fatal consequences in the patient’s course of treatment. 

A lack of communication between doctors and nurses also presents a grave danger for patients. Poor record keeping about a patient’s condition as well as miscommunication of symptoms and pre–existing ailments can all hinder treatment. These miscommunications also lead to longer patient stays, as paperwork bogs down what should be a streamlined process. This is costly not only for patients, but for hospitals. 

"Miscommunications also lead to longer patient stays, as paperwork bogs down what should be a streamlined process. This is costly not only for patients, but for hospitals."

In the midst of this communications crisis, how can hospitals ensure their doctors are staying in touch with one another and giving their patients top-tier care? For AIMeCAST, the answer lies in podcasting. 

With a streamlined multimedia podcasting hub, doctors and nurses can access key files, informational videos, audio messages from hospital leadership, and interactive training modules. As care procedures change constantly with COVID-19, miscommunication can occur between the many people looking after one patient. In order to avoid malpractice costs and patient fatalities, all of your employees must be on board with the newest procedural changes. With multimedia podcasting, hospital workers can engage with audio and video training on their own time, and through interactive quizzes your hospital can track their completion. Additionally, important spreadsheets and files can be securely stored in one hub, making them easy to access. 

Gone are the days of misplaced scribbled notes or blips in the chain of command. While many hospitals are seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, they still have a long road ahead. AIMeCAST can make sure your care process is streamlined, keeping your hospital running efficiently and keeping your patients safe. 

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