Customer Service also known as communication, now days almost always involves several people, especially when it involves an elderly loved one. Having an elderly family member is a very sensitive topic believe it or not and although very common is still something that most still do not know how to deal with and do not quite understand. It is hard to have to face that fact that your Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and sometimes siblings are faced with life threatening illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia and have forgotten who you are along with a host of other things. As an administrator of a Nursing Home you could be faced with many different situations and because patients in a nursing home are sometimes unable to understand or communicate on their own, it is important to have ways to get in contact with several different family members in the event of an emergency.
Family members of these elderly patients still have lives of their own and may live in different states or countries even and then in the worst case, you have some patients in Nursing Homes who do not have family members at all. Most of the time there will be a social worker who is responsible for the wellbeing of these patients in this type of situation. There is an enormous misunderstanding of the role of communication services in healthcare.
Nursing home administrators act as the patient’s liaison between staff and doctors, in the event that a Nursing Home receives notification that the organization is being purchased by a national group, and because of new policies to be implemented, many of the patients will be displaced, it is important to know the way to communicate with each individuals family members. Residents have rights and these rights being violated can cause serious issues with the law. Below is a short list of patients’ rights when concerning unfair transfer or discharge.
Protection against Unfair Transfer or Discharge: You can’t be sent to another nursing home, or made to leave the nursing home, unless any of the following are true:
It is necessary for the welfare, health, or safety of you or others.
Your health has declined to the point that the nursing home can’t meet your care needs.
Your health has improved to the point that nursing home care is no longer necessary.
The nursing home hasn’t been paid for services you received.
The nursing home closes
In this scenario it is important that you inform the residents that they are being displaced and that they need to approve the release of their medical information. The best way to do this, since it is concerning medical records, would be privately. HIPAA protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information and if violated you could face jail time and hefty fines so you should use the best communication method that fits the scenario. The best method of communication I thought would be best for this scenario was traditional and electronic communication because they both have some convenience to the residents. The right amount of information and the right information is needed to explain to family members and patients what is happening to this facility. Finding the right laws and rights is what needs to happen to make sure the company is not in violation of that patient. Finding the best way to communicate with each patient and their family is most important when it comes to getting the message across professionally without seeming to disregard their personal concerns.
There are advantages and disadvantages of using social media, traditional, and electronic communication .Traditional, the oldest of the three some of the many advantages that tradition communication has is that you are person with the person you are communicating with, which is better because you are getting an immediate reply to whatever it is that you are trying to get. There’s a feeling of community because you’re better able to socialize and interact with one another. We quickly build a bond that sets the foundation for trust and ultimately, lasting business relationships. There are so many different issues that have to be considered when communicating with patients and their family members, in this scenario most likely there will need to be some convincing that this is best for the patient/ their loved ones.
Displacing them does not have to be a “bad thing” it all depends on how it is presented to them and their reaction to the initial breaking of the news. It is important that the administrator has found a new facility that offers everything that the patients(s) will need to accommodate them completely. Communication is a part of the process to better the patient’s life and once the patient and/or their family is on board then you pretty much have “tackled the mountain”. “Forcing information on people when they are too distraught to understand it or accept it (over informing) may only heighten their stress. Philip Muskin(1998) calls this “truth dumping” and warns people against it.
Health-related Information can be confusing and frightening.” It is best to not provide unnecessary information to the patients and family members, just enough for them to understand completely. (Communication About Health Pg. 196) Being and Administrator means being able to communicate effectively with your patients no matter their mental and health condition and being able to communicate with their family members too. It is important to not “over-do” anything when communicating because it could cause a reaction you don’t want to deal with.
There are different ways of communicating messages and different tones and as an Administrator in this particular scenario it is important to know what tone of communication to use when letting the patients and their family members know what is going on. It is a good idea to know where the patient will be transferred to and to have a brochure and good information on where the patient is going so that maybe the family member and the patients will be comfortable about the big news.
1. Journal Article . (2014, Fall). People living with dementia: components of communication, (Pg.1). 2. . (2005). Communicating About Health Current Issues And Perspectives. Retrieved from, HCS/320 Health Care Communication Strategies website.
Courtney from Study Moose
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