Communication refers to the process of conveying information so as to create a level of understanding among different parties (Walaski, 2011, p.11). Health care communication enables people to identify health risks they face, avenues for help and preventive measures they can use to reduce their vulnerability (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.17).
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Health care communication ameliorates people’s outlook towards health. Some attributes of good health care communication are accuracy, availability of information, consistency, cultural competence in information delivery, evidence based information, reliability and understandability of information (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.23). In health care communication, considering the ability of the audience to read, understand and act on health information is essential.
Communication methods for a national drug manufacturer
There are varied communication methods applicable in addressing reports of significant negative effects caused by a medication from the manufacturer. In this scenario, timely delivery of the message is important as it touches on important public person.
Good communication methods prevail in delivering the correct message in a clear and understandable way. Excellent communicators choose the most efficient communication method in addressing purposeful issues (Walaski, 2011, p.23). Some of the methods to be used by the communications coordinator in addressing the issue are as discussed below.
The first method is visual communication. This is necessary in providing information on how to use the medications, store and getting help. This communication method involves the use of uniquely designed signs on products, electronic communication, presentations and documents (Walaski, 2011, p.29). Advertising on television and print media can help the manufacturer in reaching most of its clients.
The coordinator can also use writing communication. This method is valuable in giving information on the medication that had negative effects on people. This communication entails writing out information to express something.
Writing is done through reports, evaluations, mails and other relevant documents that provide similar information (Walaski, 2011, p.33). Reports should be accessible to people and presented in a comprehensible manner. The coordinator should give a report on the causes of the problem and the steps taken to avoid future occurrences.
Oral communication is the third method. Certain aspects need to be considered with oral communication. Oral communication should consider people’s different ages, educational backgrounds and races. In addressing the public, the communications coordinator should select the necessary and most relevant information to deliver to people. Customers can also call the manufacturer with questions, which can be answered instantly. Oral communication allows misunderstandings to be resolved immediately (Walaski, 2011, p.38).
Online communication is another method of importance to the coordinator. A great number people use the internet to communicate with others. This communication provides help through the pop-up help facilities (Walaski, 2011, p.41).
The communications coordinator can engage their clients in online chats to pass information or resolve issues that need to be addressed. Face-to-face communication is also be used with clients who need quick responses. Clients can visit the manufacturer’s office as this will save time and avoid successive communications.
Advantages and disadvantages
Use of traditional method in health care communication involves development and utilization of local resources to deliver information. This communication uses poetry, stories, sports event, dance, traditional songs and shows to communicate (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.30).
Some advantages of using traditional methods of communication their levelheaded nature and dependence on peoples daily experiences. They also do not require understanding that comes with modern methods, can motivate people to change behavior and can show ways of solving problems. Local shows are cost-effective as all they require is imagination and practice.
One main disadvantage of traditional methods is that it hardly achieves health care communication using one method. Thus, it requires an amalgamation of various methods to enhance understanding (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.31).
Electronic communication is fast, competitively priced and well situated. However, electronic communication that helps bond people can also influence negatively on people’s lives. Some advantages of electronic media in health care communication include mobility of communication devices like cell phones and laptops.
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Their portability allows people to work and communicate in public locations thus increasing productivity. The speed and convenience of electronic devices is also important in health care communication. These features assist in research and learning as someone with a health problem can access valuable information from medical websites (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.33).
Some of disadvantages of electronic communication include security. Electronic communication can make people vulnerable to online criminals. Virtual worlds like chat rooms attract unsuspecting people who aim at gaining trust and private information of fellow users.
Disturbance and interruptions are also disadvantage of electronic communication. Electronic communication affects personal time and can lead to addiction. Electronic communicators often feel obligated to check emails and may experience distractions from employees any time.
Social media communication uses web based and mobile-based technologies to support interactive dialogue and exchange of user generated content (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.35). Social media communication’s wide use today makes it an effective means of communicating health care information. Some of the advantages of using social media in health care communication include increasing transparency in governments and organizations.
Through social media, people get to learn more about an organization and their products. Social media also encourages communication and sharing which helps in conveying information to others easily and effectively. Social media sites like face book and twitter have a many users and embracing them as channels for health care communication can be effective.
Some disadvantages of using social media include inconsistent delivery of content by users, habitual overlook of content, information overload and vagueness which can stimulate hate. These features can lead to inadequate health care information thus users not getting their desired information.
Effects of HIPAA on use of media in health care communication
From the beginning of 2002, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act commonly known as HIPAA took effect (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.54). The provisions of this act affect billing, health records, patient confidentiality and electronic broadcast of data.
The act requires organizations to enlighten patients regarding their rights. Under the medical privacy terms, patients should give written authority to allow sharing of their information with third parties (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.60). The regulations give full custody of medical records to patients with the exception of psychiatric records. Health care organizations should have a policy on how to handle patient requests and have a system to alert others on changes in medical records.
Health care organizations should also identify a privacy officer. The privacy officer is also mandated to guide their organizations in adapting and implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The privacy officer can also ask healthcare providers to take an inventory of medical information as well as participation in HAPAA training (Hicks & Nicolas, 2011, p.69).
Good communication in health care is about listening. In health care communication, there is both internal and external communication. These two categories of communication apply different methods as they usually target different audiences.
Various methods are applied effectively in health care communication. It is important for an organization like the National Drug Manufacturer to develop strong communication with their clients to establish the quality of their products as well as getting recommendations. Health care communicators should also ensure clear delivery of the message to the intended audience.
Hicks, N., & Nicolas, C. (2011). Health Industry Communication. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Walaski, P. (2011). Risk and Crisis Communications: Methods and Messages. New York: John Wiley & Sons.