In a recent article in Becker’s Healthcare: “The chronic problem of communication: Why it's a patient safety issue, and how hospitals can address it (http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/the-chronic-problem-of-communication-why-it-s-a-patient-safety-issue-and-how-hospitals-can-address-it.html), Kelly Gooch writes about the work of Beth Boynton, RN, an organizational development consultant and author of Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces & Rewarding Careers, and Martie Moore, RN, former CNO of Portland, Oregon-based Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and current CNO of Medline Industries.
According to Ms. Boynton, communication effects every aspect of healthcare. "Our teamwork, leadership, and workplace cultures are all impacted and communication failures can be linked to all of our big problems, like sentinel events, workforce harm, poor patient experience or wasted resources."
They also point out that communication goes beyond accurately informing patients. They attribute discussions and debate in the board room, physicians, and care giver teams that are trained and given the tools to effectively communicate, improves the overall future of healthcare.
Obviously, communication is critical in the healthcare environment, and when you stop to consider that the essence of “wayfinding” is about communicating directions, it becomes clear why a well-designed sign system is so important.
As a healthcare wayfinding strategist, our work focuses on human behavior, and our primary focus is to communicate HOW to intuitively navigate complex healthcare environments through a range of tools, including signage and navigation apps. By focusing on communication and not just signs, we ultimately contribute to a positive patient experience.
Like care providers, communication is at the very core of what we do.