Effective communication is important in any given organization, especially healthcare organizations. Information in healthcare institutions includes staff guidelines and patient information. Poor communication may result in adverse outcomes such as medication errors and breach of patient information privacy. Consequently, information officers in healthcare facilities are responsible for ensuring all internal and external communication is effectively and securely delivered. This paper presents a healthcare organization’s informational analysis of secure and effective communication to the organization’s board. The informational analysis includes leaders’ roles in communication, barriers to effective communication, human resource policies, credentialing and accreditation of healthcare staff, professional ethics, and laws guiding communication within the healthcare industry.
The Leader’s Role in Communicating Organizational Policies
Leaders play a crucial role in communicating organizational roles in any facility. Leaders provide direction for other employees, hence a crucial aspect of organizational communication. Leaders are responsible for making major decisions within their organizations. Consequently, leaders should communicate these decisions to employees to ensure the organizations work in unity of purpose (Burgener, 2020). Leaders share information on organizational policies and set examples that encourage junior employees to follow these policies. Honesty and commitment to these organizational policies motivate employees to follow these guidelines.
In addition to formulating and communicating organizational policies, leaders influence the passage of information between their juniors. Leaders set the tone for organizational communication strategies (Lewis, 2019). When leaders create environments where employees feel comfortable sharing information, they can communicate organization policies, reinforcing the unity of purpose within the organization. Leaders may create environments that encourage employee communication through personal communication, speaking to groups as individuals, and listening to their juniors (Burgener, 2020). Two-way communication is essential in creating a sense of ownership among the employees, motivating employees to work towards the set organizational policies fully.
Barriers to Effective Communication in the Workplace
There exist possible barriers in the workplace which may discourage effective communication. Barriers to effective communication are broadly classified into organizational, technological, physical, cultural, psychological and language barriers (Lewis, 2019). Organizational barriers are brought about by a poor understanding of the organizational structure and roles of individuals within the organization. Poor understanding of the organizational structure results in problems regarding sharing and requesting information, creating a barrier to effective communication (Burgener, 2020; Lewis, 2019). Technological barriers require more tools and training to foster effective communication between employees. These barriers include hardware for information processing and sharing, appropriate communication tools, and sufficient training to use these technologies and tools effectively.
Physical barriers include aspects related to the distance between team members. Remote working environments have resulted in various members of organizations working thousands of miles apart from each other. This aspect of distance results in difficulties where in-person communication is needed, even among administrative and non-administrative staff in healthcare institutions. Cultural barriers arise from differences in social values and norms between organization members (Lewis, 2019). Cultural communication barriers are most prevalent between healthcare professionals and patients in the healthcare system. Cultural barriers include stereotyping, ostracization, and other ethnocentric behaviors, which may discourage effective communication.
Psychological barriers encompass mental health concerns and individual mindsets, which may cause disagreements and a lack of trust among organizational members, negatively impacting communication. Language barriers result from translation difficulties and vernacular differences among members, resulting in miscommunication (Burgener, 2020; Lewis, 2019). Accents, communication quirks, and dialects may result in miscommunication among members speaking the same language. Organizational leadership needs to take active initiative in mitigating all these possible sources of barriers to effective communication.
Human Resources Policies Regarding Immoral Behaviors in the Workplace
Healthcare professionals, similar to professionals in other industries, should work in ethical and moral ways. Nonetheless, it is difficult to escape ethical and moral issues among employees. Consequently, human resource managers ought to formulate policies regarding immoral behavior in the workplace (Wright et al., 2021). Moral behavior in the workplace is upheld through the creation of a code of conduct. The code of conduct provides employees with guidelines on moral and immoral behaviors in the workplace.
Additionally, codes of conduct specify the consequences of engaging in actions considered to be immoral. Through the code, employees take responsibility for their actions, discouraging immoral behavior in the workplace (Wright et al., 2021). In addition to their formulation, human resource managers should ensure the codes of conduct are used through fair punishment of employees engaging in immoral behavior. Codes of conduct should be updated regularly to align with evolving organizational culture, values, and policies.
Significance of Credentialing Healthcare Staff
Credentialing healthcare staff is vital in ensuring qualified staff provides service to patients. Credentialing ensures patients receive high-quality care from professionals who have been vigorously scrutinized in the assessment of their abilities to provide healthcare services (Sorrentino, 2019). Credentialing entails collecting and verifying healthcare workers’ professional qualifications, hence gaining an accurate assessment of their legitimacy and backgrounds. Healthcare institutions normally conduct their credentialing of their staff during the hiring process.
In addition to protecting the rights and well-being of patients, the credentialing process protects the image of a healthcare organization. Lack of credentialing results in hiring underqualified healthcare personnel. Underqualified personnel results in poor quality healthcare services, hence low patient satisfaction. Poor patient satisfaction results in patients avoiding the given facility. Additionally, the organization becomes increasingly liable for litigations concerning patient negligence (Sorrentino, 2019). Increased litigations may result in revoking the licenses of these healthcare organizations, putting them out of the service. Consequently, credentialing is highly beneficial to the organization; as it protects its image.
Importance of Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities
In addition to credentialing, accreditation is also important in the healthcare industry. Accreditation of healthcare facilities involves review by an external body to ascertain whether the facility adheres to set standards and regulations. To achieve accreditation, healthcare facilities must comply with these regulations and standards (Sorrentino, 2019). Healthcare facilities benefit from achieving and maintaining accreditation. Accreditation provides healthcare facilities with a standard to measure their performance. Consequently, healthcare facilities can improve their services and programs by assessing their accreditation status.
Accreditation benefits healthcare facilities by increasing public confidence in these facilities. Public members are assured of quality healthcare services that align with industry standards through the accreditation of healthcare facilities (Sorrentino, 2019). Patients can confidently walk into accredited healthcare facilities knowing that their lives and well-being are in good hands. Consequently, accreditation increases a healthcare facility’s status, encouraging more patients to seek services in these facilities and increasing revenue.
Professional Ethics and How They Impact Employees on the Job
Professional ethics have a profound impact on employees on the job. Upholding professional ethics has a positive impact on employees. Employees who view their leaders as upholding professional ethics are likely to follow suit, creating a positive organizational environment (Wright et al., 2021). Additionally, ethical behavior increases employee morale, enhancing organizational performance. Ethical behavior creates an atmosphere of respect and trust in the organization. Consequently, employees experience more productivity and greater job satisfaction.
Adherence to professional ethics benefits both employees and their employers. Employees record positive outcomes through increased morale and job satisfaction when they uphold professional ethics. These effects increase performance and productivity, benefiting the organization (Wright et al., 2021). Consequently, organizations should set up workplace laws and incentives to encourage employees to uphold professional ethics. Organizational leaders should provide correct examples by embodying professional ethics in their actions.
Responsibilities of the CIO
The chief informational officer ensures information is effectively and securely transferred within the organization and to authorized external parties. The CIO oversees systems used in transmitting information, ensuring these systems work to the best of their capacities and in a secure manner (Chen et al., 2021). CIOs act as managers to other information technology staff, providing guidance and direction to them. They act as a link between junior staff and the board of directors, passing information about policies to junior staff and informing the boards on proposals to improve their communication systems. CIOs also conduct research to propose more effective and efficient use of technology to improve the storage and transmission of information.
New proposals should align with wider organizational goals to maintain a sense of unity of purpose within the organization. The CIO is also responsible for working with other managers to meet these organizational objectives. CIOs coordinate with other managers from the supply chain, human resources, quality assurance, financial, and marketing departments (Chen et al., 2021). To effectively perform these functions, CIOs should embody lifelong learning, teamwork, emotional intelligence, networking, authenticity, interpersonal skills, and respect for both junior and senior staff.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a Congressional Act that regulates information flow within healthcare organizations. The Act spells out guidelines to assist healthcare facilities in protecting personal patient information from theft and fraud. Additionally, HIPAA prohibits healthcare and health insurance providers from disclosing patient information to unauthorized personnel without consent (Wells, 2022). Violating HIPAA laws entails a breach of patient confidentiality and may result in fines and settlements. HIPAA violations result from ignorance or willful neglect from healthcare and insurance providers.
Healthcare facilities must consider HIPAA laws and ensure they are well-known and practiced by their personnel. Violating HIPAA laws may result in litigations that force healthcare facilities to pay many settlements and fines (Wells, 2022). Adherence to HIPAA laws protecting patient confidentiality also shows ethical and moral behavior within healthcare facilities, aligning to positive organizational behavior.
Laws Guiding the Communication of Patient Information
The HIPPA laws are the main laws in the United States that guide the communication of patient information. These laws require that patient information be disclosed only to patients and their families. Additionally, the law prohibits the disclosure of patient information to unauthorized persons without patient consent (Wells, 2022). The laws call for modern technological advancements to ensure patient privacy is upheld. Individuals and organizations subject to the HIPAA privacy rule include health insurance plans, healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates.
Nonetheless, the law provides some circumstances where the above-covered entities are permitted to disclose patient healthcare information. These instances include when the information is disclosed to the environment, during treatment and payment, and for public benefit (national priority purposes (Wells, 2022). Organizations must adhere to these laws to avoid legal litigations resulting in settlements and fines.
In conclusion, information storage and sharing is an integral process in healthcare facilities. Information concerning practice guidelines and patient health ought to be shared by effective and secure means. Organizational leaders such as CIOs have a role in creating an environment for effective communication in their organizations. Poor communication may result in a breach of patient confidentiality and legal litigations. Consequently, healthcare facilities must ensure they keep up with standards and regulations by seeking and maintaining accreditation and credentialing their employees. Effective information sharing remains one of the core processes in any organization.
Burgener, A. M. (2020). Enhancing communication to improve patient safety and increase
patient satisfaction. The Health Care Manager, 39(3), 128-132.
Chen, D. Q., Zhang, Y., Xiao, J., & Xie, K. (2021). Making digital innovation happen a chief
information officer issue selling perspective. Information Systems Research, 32(3), 987-1008.
Lewis, L. (2019). Organizational change. In Origins and traditions of organizational
communication (pp. 406-423). Routledge.
Sorrentino, K. (2019). Accreditation, credentialing, and quality improvement in diagnostic
medical sonography: a literature review. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 35(5), 401-411.
Wells, A. F. (2022). Documentation, Licensing, and HIPAA Compliance. In
Telerheumatology: Origins, Current Practice, and Future Directions (pp. 75-82). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Wright, A. L., Irving, G., & Selvan Thevatas, K. (2021). Professional values and
managerial practices: Values work by nurses in the emergency department. Organization Studies, 42(9), 1435-1456.