To understand why interpersonal communication is important to health, it is important to understand what interpersonal communication is and how communicate effectively. Merriam-Webster defines interpersonal as “relating to or involving relations between people; existing or happening between people.” Communication is defined as “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone.” When combined, interpersonal communication becomes the use of words, sounds, signs, and/or behaviors exchanged between two or more people to share information, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. In the health care industry, interpersonal communication can take place between a health care professional and a patient, or among a group of health care professionals and other health care staff. Communication in this field is very important and is subjected to a number of barriers. Decision-making requires effective interpersonal communication taking place in healthcare organizations to increase efficiency and effectiveness, as well as quality of care.
Effective communication is imperative for the success in the healthcare field. It has been proven that patient satisfaction and compliance with treatment and the overall health outcomes are improved when the healthcare team and patient communicate well. A patient who understands the information being given to them and believes that their healthcare providers are concerned with their well-being, are more likely to show satisfaction with the care received and compliant with their treatment regimen. This is possible by engaging in a decision-making process that involves not only the healthcare team but the patient and their family as well. Positive health outcomes are the result of patient satisfaction, patient’s ability to recall information, compliance with treatment plans, keeping appointments, and improvements in physiological markers such as normal blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Improved communication skills result in better health outcomes. Better communication skills ensure open and extended dialogue between patients and their providers, allowing the patient to disclose critical information, which in turns helps the provider make an accurate diagnosis. The enhancement of health care education and counseling is also due to effective communication. More appropriate treatment plans are discussed and includes the patient in the final decisions made about their care, which improves patient compliance (USAID).
There are aspects of communication necessary for positive decision-making in healthcare. The collection of accurate and comprehensive data from the patient is the foundation to properly diagnosing a patient. It also will allow the physician to determine an accurate prognosis. It is imperative to involve the patient in all aspects of treatment planning. Evidence shows that...