- Long-term care communication between staff can directly impact patient well-being and outcomes
- There are key opportunities to improve clinical communication in long-term care
Residents in long-term care communities are subject to stress, anxiety, and isolation. Many residents entering the long-term care facilities are confused, angry, and sad. Clear communication in long-term care between staff is integral to creating a seamless and stress-free transition.
Not only are new residents potentially positively impacted by optimized communication in long-term care, all residents can reap benefits with a less tense environment, where teams are collaborating and questions or concerns are answered quickly.
There are three specific ways improved staff communication in long-term care can directly lead to the improved mental health of residents.
Confidence In Care Plan
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on an already important aspect of communication in long-term care – Connection and transparency with families of residents is critical, and loss of connection directly impacts residents.
To facilitate timely and accurate communication with families, care teams need to be on the same page. This process can be disturbed for a few main reasons:
- Staff is unsure whose role it is to communicate with family
- Staff is unable to make the time
- Staff doesn’t have all of the information from the interdisciplinary team
With clinical communication tools and processes, teams work collaboratively, and roles are known and acknowledged. This leads to confidence across a team for a care plan that works and can be explained to loved ones as needed.
A stream of regular communication in long-term care has a direct impact on residents. Studies show the communication between staff and family can improve resident behaviors, and other studies show increased satisfaction and even better health outcomes.
When teams work in silos, resident suffers. By integrating systems for regular communication and designated roles, health and behavior changes don’t fall through the cracks, and the team is always abreast of changes or concerns.
Teams can keep regular contact about a concerning resident and potentially catch problems early.
Of course, the healthier the resident, the happier the resident, so this teamwork is integral to the resident’s overall mental health. Ensuring their needs are met, and health is assessed adequately with a necessary team can make all the difference.
Reduce Staff Burnout with Communication in Long-Term Care
In any industry, employee satisfaction and stress will show through interactions with clients. In long-term care, this means nurses and other staff who feel underappreciated, overworked, or stressed will unfortunately bring these feelings to residents.
Studies show burnout and alert fatigue are commonplace in healthcare and show up just as much in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, the effect of these can lead directly to residents mood and health.
Studies have linked poor staff attitudes to adverse health outcomes in residents. Similarly, a positive attitude and happy mood impacts residents just as much!
Improved clinical communication in long-term care can directly reduce clinician burnout.
Resident Mental Health Starts with Staff Communication in Long-Term Care
There’s ample evidence that residents’ mental health and health outcomes can depend significantly on communication in long-term care, in addition to staff workflows.
With clinical communication solutions, such as clinical collaboration platforms, clinical coordination can improve which, in turn, will relieve stress and improve the mental well-being of residents.