What current issues affect communication in health care organizations?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many current issues affect communication in health care organizations, and because society has changed so much over the last decade, many of these issues are new and surprising. In previous decades countries in the west, such as the US and the UK had wealth, power and security that was so entrenched it was taken for granted so that the present problems in the health sector and the general economy as a whole were not anticipated and therefore not planned for. Things have changed and now we have a situation where the west is suffering under a great depression, clouds of debt which are proving almost impossible to shake off, and eastern countries with huge population and the economy growth that goes with that are now competing aggressively with the west. One of the surprising consequences of that is undercutting and sharp practice where workers in the west have had to accept job losses, mass unemployment, home foreclosures and much lower wages with much less job security. Indeed many are now on zero hours contracts where they have to sign up to work for as little as an hour a day in some cases.

All this has a knock on effect on the healthcare industries as rapid employee movement hurts effective communication as different professionals with different roles and responsibilities move on after short contracts leaving case loads unresolved for the incumbents who themselves know they will not be around for long enough to see a case through. Often they have to leave even before the end of their contract due to the low wage, not being able to live near enough to work or afford travel fares.IT considerations add to the problem as workers continually have to register and log in again somewhere else with new passwords and emails and it is inevitable that patients and social work clients, including at risk children fall through the net. This is particularly relevant in the UK at the moment where a tiny four year old boy was found scavenging and eating food in the school bins but professionals couldnt join the dots and link in the bruises and broken bones and he was murdered by his mother and her boyfriend who had deceived teachers and health workers who each didnt have the full notes and therefore the full story as new staff took over and they couldnt talk to each other any more.