Regardless of the topic in business, communication is always going to be a top issue. This is especially true when talking about the healthcare industry, and particularly when it includes senior citizens who might have a more difficult time expressing their needs or concerns.
Communicating with this patient group can be challenging to say the least. Not to mention, there is often the added difficulty of having to also communicate with the patient’s family. How can you best manage this situation so that there are fewest questions and issues as possible?
In this article, we go over three of the most important strategies when it comes to communicating with patients in the senior care industry. However, that is not to say that this advice is only applicable to this audience – any of these tips can help encourage better communication amongst your team. The trick is to employ these easy tactics as often as possible.
Be simple and specific
Scientific or medical terms can be intimidating and confusing. Instead, try to explain things in language that anyone would be able to understand. You want to make sure that you are approachable, otherwise, a patient might not be forthcoming with important personal information.
You should ask patients to repeat information back to you, just to confirm that everyone is on the same page. Technology can also help to make sure that you are understood. But again, you do not want to overwhelm anyone. Make sure that your language will be widely understood and that there are no grammatical or formatting issues that might cause confusion.
Ask open-ended questions
If someone is confused or intimidated, they might be more likely just to agree with whatever the healthcare professional says – but ultimately, this will not help anyone. To make sure that you are not leading any patients with your line of questioning, make sure that you get more than just a simple “yes” or “no.” Ask questions that will encourage individuals to further explain their feelings, condition, or symptoms.
Pay attention to all cues
A lot of communication is nonverbal. It is important that you pay attention to the facial and body expressions of the individuals in your care. This can be one of the first signs that indicate whether or not they understand. It is also important that you spend time listening to them and offering support and empathy. This will help them feel more comfortable with you and encourage further communication.
Communication is critical to all facets of a business. When you encourage strong communication, you will improve your patients’ experience as well as your employees’. Try working on the above tactics, and everybody wins.