Communication errors can lead to a range of problems for medical practices. When intentions and messages are not being communicated properly, a huge amount of time can be wasted on a daily basis. Things that are not being done on time cause the level of productivity to go down, thereby affecting the income and atmosphere of the medical practice on the whole.

On the other hand, if everything is communicated well, a certain level of trust can develop, which helps to gradually build up a relationship at the practice - trust and relationships are always the two biggest factors in ensuring things work well, and productivity is both maintained and improved. To achieve this, below are some communication errors that should be avoided:

1. Too late to communicate

Sometimes, things that need to be said are left out or delayed in an attempt to be more courteous and respectful. However, when an urgent matter is not conveyed right away, the consequences could be significant. If something is important and has to be communicated to the right person at once, it should not be delayed at any cost - there is no room for procrastination in medicine, where the life of a person could potentially be at stake.

2. Too much praise

When there is something negative that needs to be put across, some might try to add a positive comment to avoid upsetting the receipient. However,this could be misinterpreted completely as a compliment, causing the negative aspect to be ignored, making the whole endeavour a pointless one. A better way would be to convey the message directly to the other party, but in a polite yet firm manner.

3. Not being specific about details

When the person in-charge is not specific enough while handling or handing off assignments in a medical practice, a whole new set of problems could arise. It is important to be specific, especially in one's choice of words. For example, words like "anytime," or phrases like "when convenient" are vague and easily misinterpreted, so these should be avoided.

When things are not going well, also avoid merely pointing fingers or criticising staff members without providing reasons or details. Be specific about the kind of behaviour that is needed from the staff so that no one feels bad, or insulted when they were criticised without knowing why.

4. Be attentive and watch expressions

It is important for both parties to be involved and pay attention to each other when they communicate. Not concentrating on what the other party is saying is definitely not effective communication, and both parties need to be attentive when a conversation is in progress.

It is also important to be mindful of expressions, especially facial expressions, in order to avoid errors during communication that can be both insulting and needless. Tones of voice and gestures should also be controlled so as not to appear aggressive to the other party. MIMS

Read more:
Effective communication leads to effective delivery of healthcare
Why doctors need excellent communication skills
Healthcare professionals: 4 non-verbal ways of communication that you should be using with your patients