Teams and Communication in Health Care System – Health System Example

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'Teams and Communication in Health Care System' is a perfect example of a paper on the health system.   The article under review is Communication behaviors in a hospital setting: an observational study. This is an observational study aimed at the communication behaviors of the healthcare workers in a hospital setting. This study uses observational data of eight doctors and two nurses working in a general hospital in the British district. The communication behaviors there made the hospital an inapt working place; this was basically due to the interruptive workspace that they were creating for themselves.

The disruptions basically came to life for various reasons for instance when instead of relying on charts that were provided to them, they continued to ask their colleagues for information about their patients (Coiera, Enrico, 1998). The staff was making decisions based on incomplete information and extremely complex patterns of communication behavior existed between these health care providers. Another problem was that many of the health care officials, main nurses failed to recognize the work associated with the various roles of doctors. The results showed that the staff is in need of training on how to use certain technologies for their benefit. They also need to learn that there are multiple communication technologies that can prove to be helpful for them, for example screening messages that they receive during office hours, using emails and voicemails that were accompanied by acknowledgments and using cellular phones instead of landline phones (Coiera, Enrico, 1998). Introduction of the study; the subjects and the setting The health care arrangement is likely to endure major obstacles because of deprived systems of communication and activities.

According to an official estimate, the American health and care system could make up to $30billion within a year with enhanced telecommunications.

Another demonstrative survey conducted in Australian hospitals figured out that communication issues were the most prevailing causes of death. Still, in spite of this prove, there has been a slight assessment of the communication systems in the health care units. Recent updates have been carried out majorly in the advertisement of telemedicine which is mostly handled through technology. On this basis, scarcity of the current situation, and examining the study of communication designs in hospital surroundings.

This investigative study took place at the Frenchay Trust Hospital, Bristol (Coiera, Enrico, 1998). The hospital was equipped with numerous telephones and radio pagers. Eight physicians from various departments were observed in the midst of their routine activities. They participated voluntarily in this study and a description was provided to them regarding the study. For the data collection, subjects were put under the EC for a few hours in the morning/afternoon time on a casual weekday. The study was conducted for a total of twenty-nine hours and forty minutes.

A record and details of the events were kept by the researchers. The subjects were given a tiny radio microphone to record their speech. The subjects were given microphones that could be switched off for private matters. Further observations were carried out by the interviews (Coiera, Enrico, 1998).   Communication problems faced: Most of the calls failed because the telephone lines were too busy. It is also believed that the study influenced the outcome of the results. Consultants were barely bothered for medical advice or attention; the junior medical staff was answering almost ninety percent of the calls.

There was a massive communication bridge between the nurses and the junior consultant; most of these conversations were started by the nurses. It is well known that there is an ample flow of communication from nursing to medical staff. Much of the internet traffic was due to medical staff requesting information about their patients or discussions based on how to diagnose and treat the patient at hand. It was seen that much of the information was contained in the patients’ charts and files while textbooks, journals, and research papers were never consulted (Burns and Bradley et al. , 2012). To carry out an investigation, an entire series of calls needed to be made.

Some of the calls failed to connect because the lines were too busy; while at other times the page was responding after hours or a medical officer could be on hold on a call for a long duration. At times even after being on hold for about half an hour the medical officer failed to get what they wanted. Another issue that needs to be addressed is that most of the people failed to realize the person to contact in the case of an event.

Many of the nurses did not know with whom to contact when a certain report or analysis needs to be done. The hospital telephone directory was based on the roles of the people in various departments but it failed to list the duties that these specific people performed, therefore, creating confusion on whom to call in the event that a certain report or test was needed.

Many of the doctors bothered a little about how their calls could be interrupted with other doctors they were constantly calling. The senior doctors though understood this problem and refrained from making recurring calls to the same doctor (Burns and Bradley et al. , 2012). Transferring of patients was carried out inefficient due to the huge number of intermediate people that the patient had to go through. By the time the patient reached the new doctor the information received along with the patient was often inadequate which put the patient's life at even greater risk.

Further, time was wasted and interruptions were carried out as more calls were placed to clarify the information about the patient. It was also seen that the medical staff assessed the urgency of the call with the frequency of calls received. The frequency of the call helped them to prioritize these calls. It was assumed that a singular call or a call issued multiple times if abandoned for about half an hour would mean that the doctor was no longer needed there. On the other hand, it was also assumed by the nurses in the ward or other junior officers that if no reply was received then it was time to move on to another senior doctor for help.

This method created a huge amount of calls that caused severe interruptions that seriously hampered the quality conduct of work and health care provisions (Burns, Bradley and Weiner, 2012).


Coiera, Enrico (1998). Communication behaviors in a hospital setting: an observational study.BMJ, 316, 673.

Burns, L., Bradley, E., and Weiner, B. (2012). Shortell and Kaluzny’s health care management: Organization design and behavior. 6th ed. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar:

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