Impact Of Effective Communication On Healthcare Delivery In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Some Selected General Hospitals In Abuja)
This study assessed healthcare provision and patient communication on service delivery. This research was carried out at the select general hospitals in, Abuja, Nigeria. The main aim of this study was on effective communication among health care providers and patient on healthcare delivery. All patients who were hospitalized for a week or more were the target population for this research at the time of the study plus the healthcare providers. Through (Simple random) sampling technique, 250 healthcare providers (nurses, medical officers, laboratory technicians, surgeons) were surveyed. The study adopted the sequential mixed model design of gathering the data. Descriptive, multiple linear regression and content analysis were employed in analyzing the study’s data. The descriptive analysis of the study revealed that, the major (70.4%) form of communication used is the verbal. It further revealed that, majority (92%) faced communication barriers which included, environment related, patient related, and healthcare provider related barriers. The regression result shows that, communication competence (0.00), and interpersonal relation (0.00) are predictors of service quality and patient satisfaction at 5% level of significance. The study recommends that, health care providers should make good use of both verbal and non-verbal cues during their consultation or interaction sessions with patients. Also, overcoming communication bottle necks, management should at periodic intervals organize on the job training, seminars and workshops for health care providers on effective therapeutic communication.
1.1 Background of the Study
Improved health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and the delivery of operational healthcare services all need effective communication between healthcare professionals and patients. Effective communication between medical personnel and patients is necessary for health promotion, accurate diagnosis, patient safety, and compliance. Good communication helps to build trust in relationships between healthcare providers and patients and allows for a better understanding of the patient’s medical problems.(Chen 2007) As a consequence, the diagnosis and treatment of the patient’s condition improves. Time management, difficulties with rapport building, patients who are poor historians, physicians who do not effectively explain the condition and management to their patients, language, religion, and culture of the patient and physician, and the physical set up of the clinic are all examples of communication barriers in healthcare delivery. These communication obstacles lead to lower healthcare quality, worse health consequences, and health inequalities. Improved care, medication adherence, and patients’ comprehension of diagnosis and treatment are all related to the level of communication between the patient and the health care practitioner, according to research (HCP). The patient’s understanding of the diagnosis and therapy, as well as adherence to treatment recommendations, is hampered by language difficulties. This may lead to the doctor doing an examination for an illness that the patient may have mistakenly conveyed while describing another condition. Lack of access to excellent healthcare services may be exacerbated by the inability to communicate effectively with health-care providers. Communication between medical professionals and patients may be influenced by cultural and sociopolitical variables. (Kulaksız, 2015) Patients’ expressions of physical and emotional discomfort to their HCP, who is regarded as not a part of their family, may be influenced by differences in beliefs, values, and cultural traditions. Patients from this culture may find it challenging to communicate specific issues related to physical or mental difficulties. They may interact with the HCP in a different way, resulting in erroneous diagnoses and treatment choices. Patients’ perceptions about their physicians have been shown to create communication barriers between them and their HCP. Some patients see their physicians as “superiors” who ought to be treated with reverence. This cultural/professional conflict has an impact on how patients and physicians communicate about their illnesses. The ‘place of origin’ may also affect communication between patients and their physicians. Healthcare workers may have unconscious prejudices towards patients who may not share their racial or cultural backgrounds. Patients’ responses to suggestions, screening, and treatment plans may be harmed as a result of such problems interfering with communication between patients and medical providers. The connection between the doctor and the patient is influenced by nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication differences, such as proxemics, kinesics, and paralanguage, have an effect on how patients interact with their healthcare providers. When communicating, proxemics refers to how individuals unconsciously utilize the space around them. This differs from one culture to the next. People perceive ‘touch’ and ‘holding hands’ differently depending on their cultural/ethnic background.’ Moving away or moving aside, ‘touch’ and ‘holding hands’ are viewed differently by people depending on their cultural/ethnic background. The way individuals move their bodies while communicating is referred to as kinesics. Body motions during communication are described through gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and touching. Kinesics differ from one culture to the next. For various ethnic groups, the simple act of smiling will have diverse meanings. This may have an impact on how people interact with their healthcare providers. Variations in speech such as voice quality, loudness, pace, pitch, nonfluences (for example, uh, um, emm, ah, and so on), laughing, yawning, and so on are often misinterpreted by individuals depending on their ethnicity and culture. If nonverbal communication, such as paralanguage, is not recognized in a timely manner, it may have an impact on the patient’s perception of their connection with the HCP. Unaware of the patient’s cultural differences, an HCP may unintentionally insult the patient, obstructing communication. Reduce communication obstacles in health care settings through using interpreters, educating healthcare practitioners in cross-cultural communication, and passing legislation to help patients who do not speak the same language. There are few research on communication obstacles in health care. As a consequence, this research was carried out to identify different communication obstacles and their impact on healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The importance of sufficient and effective communication between health information officers and patients in the delivery of health care cannot be overstated. Due to a lack of communication, serious medical mistakes may occur, resulting in severe damage or unexpected patient death. Medical mistakes in the past have been linked to a lack of sufficient and efficient communication in today’s health-care institutions. The study’s issue is to assess the difficulties in efficient communication between health information officers and patients.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objectives of this study are to:
- To find out if health inform officers and patients in the Abuja general hospitals are communicating effectively.
- To evaluate tthe effects of good communication between health information officers and patients in general hospitals in Abuja.
- To determine the barriers to successful communication between health information officers and patients at general hospitals in Abuja.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do health information officers and patients in the Abuja general hospitals are communicate effectively.
- What are the effects of good communication between health information officers and patients in general hospitals in Abuja.
- What are the barriers to successful communication between health information officers and patients at general hospitals in Abuja.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research examines the difficulties of successful communication between health information officers and patients. Abuja General Hospital is the subject of this case study. It offers pertinent data for the efficient development and execution of policies that will improve the achievement of the desired goal.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research examines the difficulties of successful communication between health information officers and patients. A case study of a general hospital in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of Study
The research was restricted by logistical and geographical constraints.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Communication is the process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior. It is a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places
The organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community.
Healthcare providers consist of those institutions or individuals which provides healthcare services.
1.9 Organization of Study
This thesis is grouped into chapters. Chapter one entails background of this dissertation, illustrating the problem of the study, study goals, research questions, and study significance. The second chapter presents applicable and systematic review on healthcare provider-patient interaction while chapter three constitutes the design and methods deployed to realize the objectives of the study. It also gives the study area, explains the conceptual framework, and then describes the techniques employed to collect and analysis the data. The findings are presented in chapter four. Chapter five addresses the summary, conclusion and recommendations, respectively.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
Effective communication is at heart of healthcare healthcare delivery, and a criterion for pre-determining patients’ satisfaction with healthcare delivery at tertiary hospitals. Healthcare providers and patients have acknowledged the importance of communication in lubricating the interactions among them. In view of this, ensuring effective communication in health care is both demanding and challenging because of the nature of parties involved.
The study juxtaposed the various modalities of communication that are among healthcare providers and patients at the study area. It is clear in the study that, the communication path-ways are critical in determining service quality and patient’s satisfaction. The verbal and non-verbal forms of interactions are inherent at care centres and such, serves as a vehicle for communicating and understanding of health needs.
The study also uncovers some perceived barriers that affect the smooth flow of communication messages among care providers. Some of the perceived barriers came from patients, healthcare providers themselves and the operational environment.
Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of good care provision. Healthcare providers and patient’s perception of service satisfaction is multi-dimensional ranging from communication competence to interpersonal relation and technical dimension of service providers.
Service satisfaction in many countries particularly in the developed world is one of the benchmarks used to improving their health care system. Be as it is, ethical practice of communication is one critical layer of determining patients service satisfaction. The study has it that, when health care providers uphold the medical ethics of communication, patients would be more secured to communicate and that will enhance effective provider-patient communication. The study concluded by asking, could there be any proper health care provision minus communication?
Drawing on major findings of this research, the following policy and research recommendations are made;
First and foremost, the study finds that, the most form of communication used at the hospital is verbal. Based on the findings, combining both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication are very good for effective communication.
Therefore, the study recommends and encourage health care providers to make good use of both verbal and non-verbal cues during their consultation or interaction sessions with patients. The nonverbal should be more on touching patients, which could also improve service satisfaction. The researcher believes that, when healthcare providers use more than one form of communication, it will propel effective therapeutic communication.
Overcoming communication bottle necks, management should at periodic intervals organize on the job training, seminars and workshops for health care providers on effective therapeutic communication. This would help health practitioners to stay alert to communication barriers. Again, hospital authorities should in force legislation to monitor visits by families of patients, in addition, steps should be taken to further create a conducive atmosphere for both patients and care providers. This can go a long way to support the implementation of quality health service at part of the sustainable development goals on health.
The hospital authorities should create a patient communication department to offer a reliable channel for complaints and differences about service dissatisfaction. Among other things, this department should be charged with educating patients on the need to cooperate with healthcare providers and entreat them to eschew all tendencies to exhibit negative attitudes that could cause a drop in health providers confidence level.
On the issue of ethical communication, the study recommends that, government through the Ministry of Health should come out with an independent body of ethical communication auditors. So that, all the tertiary health care facilities in Nigeria will be closely monitored to ensure absolute compliance of ethical health communication by all health care providers.
5.3 Contribution to Knowledge
Firstly, this study is among the first studies to examine communication on service delivery in Nigeria employing both qualitative and quantitative methods in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria and proposed an effective communication model. Literature in Nigeria on health communication is mainly on clinical dimension of service provision (Bowers et al., 1994; Brown, 2007; Chahal & Kuamari, 2010).
Methodologically, this study is among the few studies that used mixed methods approach to examine healthcare provision and patient communication on service delivery.
Therefore, this study adds to existing knowledge literature on health communication, as it explored provider-patient communication on healthcare delivery and the impact of patients’ satisfaction with health care.
5.4 Recommendation for Future Research
Due to resources constrain, and the issues uncovered in the public hospital, future studies should do a comparative study on private and public hospital of provider-patient communication on healthcare delivery.
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