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Boston Children’s Hospital’s Communication Case

Introduction

Communication is the vital need of every human being. In other words, people would not differ from other species of animals if they had no ability to formulate their thoughts and communicate them. This ability allows people build certain relationships with each other within their local communities and in the international arena (Lawson, 2008). With the course of history, communication started acquiring greater and greater role as soon as the unions and communities of people felt the need for peaceful and safe cooperation and joint living (Business Wire, 2007).

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Work, another phenomenon responsible for turning simians to human beings, also demanded communication as one of the fundamental things for the work’s success and usefulness. Needless to say, communication failure leads to serious consequences, especially when lots of people are involved in an organization where such failures take place (Graber, 2002). The case of the Children’s Hospital Boston proves this fact and demonstrates the importance of communication between the management and employees in every single organization.

Context Description

To begin with, the case mentioned happened in the Children’s Hospital Boston in 2004 (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). The context to the case lied in the fact that the interaction between the hospital residents, attending physicians, and physician-interns was rather poor (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). The reasons to this were numerous but the special commission created in the Children’s Hospital Boston to investigate several health issues and complaints from the side of patients found out that the main reason was the fact that the basic organizational culture principles and the fundamental of the doctor’s ethics and moral were ignored, or sometimes consciously violated, by the employees of the Children’s Hospital Boston (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

Interesting is the fact that no official resources of the hospital ever reported the considered case, and on the whole the reputation of the medical establishment is rather positive and favorable (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). Children’s Hospital Boston is one of the oldest healthcare facilities in the United States with over than a hundred-year history that takes its roots deep into the middle of the 19th century when in 1869 the hospital was founded (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

The scope of services offered by the hospital is also impressive: there are centers for Child Trauma Care, Neurology and Neonatal Intensive Care Departments, etc., which is evidence that the hospital in Boston is one of the most developed healthcare facilities in the country (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). Such a national scope of the hospital makes the case under consideration even more important and dangerous as because of the ignorant attitudes of certain medical workers and lack of the communication between them and the hospital patients numerous children’s lives were endangered.

Issue Presentation

Essence

The essence of the very case under consideration lies in the ignorant attitude of certain medical workers of Children’s Hospital Boston towards their direct duties in the hospital. The news agencies in 2004 reported numerous complaints from the patients and their parents about the facts of ignoring their requests and needs by the workers of the hospital and by the directly responsible attending physicians (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

What all the concerned parties observed in the situation was that lack of communication between the doctors and the patients was the major reason to the issue (Business Wire, 2007). The cases were rather often in the Children’s Hospital Boston at that period of time when an experienced attending physician appointed directly to take care and monitor the state of a patient was absent from his or her working place, while his/her duties were put on the intern practicing in the hospital or on a young and inexperienced physician (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). Lack of communication between the hospital workers, i. e. between the experienced attending physicians and the inexperienced resulted in the latter’s being unable to take any useful action in case when the patients demanded urgent treatment or help.

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Main Challenges

As a result, the major challenges in the situation were also connected with the lack of communication and the actual failure of the higher ranking managers and hospital officials to communicate their ideas to the lower layers of the hospital’s organizational structure (Lawson, 2008). At the same time, the newcomers to the staff of the Children’s Hospital Boston failed to communicate their issues and misunderstandings to their managers and department heads (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

In the outcome, the complete lack of both unilateral and bilateral communication between the staff of the hospital and its executive management led to the failure of the management to control the performance of the hospital staff (Lawson, 2008). Moreover, this communication failure directly affected the other side of the situation, i. e. the clients and the patients of the hospital. The latter became unable to communicate their complaints to the medical workers and as a result unable to get the timely medical advice or practical help (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

Emergency Cases Caused by Lack of Communication

Needless to sat, such ignorant attitudes of certain workers of the Children’s Hospital Boston towards their duties at the working place could pass without emergency cases and manifestations of the importance of communication in any kind of a working team or an organization of people united by a joint aim (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). For example, during the considered events in the Children’s Hospital Boston there were several cases of children blood loss caused by the absence of the medical worker at his or her workplace place and by the inability of those present at the emergency situation to actually help from the professional point of view (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

Thus, lack of communication manifested once again its dangerous consequences if found in the organizations responsible for people’s lives (Business Wire, 2007). Fortunately, no child life was taken during that period of time; mainly, this happened due to the timely complaints of the parents of the Children’s Hospital Boston to the local municipal and federal authorities responsible for health care system in Boston.

Analysis of the Approach Taken

However, taking into consideration the seriousness of the issue and the overall public attention to the events that might negatively influence the image of the Children’s Hospital Boston for many years on, the officials of this medical establishment made the decision to approach the problem of the lack of communication between the layers of the hospital’s organizational structure in a comprehensive and focused manner (Business Wire, 2007). According to Michelle Davis, the spokesperson of the Children’s Hospital Boston, the hospital executive management had been shocked by the considered events and was about to develop a comprehensive program for improving the communicational skills and principles within the hospital (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

The mentioned plan included the implementation of the strict control over the location of the attending physicians during their working hours. The procedures of the obligatory registration of all the staff members while entering the hospital building and leaving it were also planned for implementation (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). As for the most important issue, i. e. lack of communication within the staff, it was decided to carry out special preparatory courses for the staff members of the Children’s Hospital Boston during which they were taught again the basics of human communication and the fundamental principles of working as a team (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

Understanding of the simple fact that the problem was easier and faster to solve when it was communicated and discussed was made the focus of the courses. Its main aim was to show the hospital workers how important it was to listen to each other and to the patients (International Comms Hub, 2006). As well, the staff was demonstrated how vital it was to establish the partnership relations between all the levels of the hospital organizational structure, including patients, their parents, ordinary workers, attending physicians, and the executive management (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004).

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Moreover, the federal investigation was carried out on the issue to conclude that the hospital workers were guilty of careless attitudes towards their duties which caused numerous health issues and complications to the patients of the Children’s Hospital Boston (Thompson Healthcare Company, 2004). Nevertheless, the results of these activities manifested themselves to be rather effective as far as no other mentions of any issues in the Children’s Hospital Boston were found in any media ever since.

Recommendations for Intervention

However, certain recommendations for the improving communication in the Children’s Hospital Boston can still be made. The obvious reason of the very issue discussed lied in the lack of communication between the staff members of the hospital and the patients and their parents (International Comms Hub, 2006a). Accordingly, the fist recommendation to make in such a situation is that the executive management of the hospital should take their time and teach their workers how to communicate fruitfully with each other and with their clients.

In case if no information is shared between the physicians for example, it is hardly possible that the doctor left in charge of the patient after another one would correctly define the measures to take if some emergency happens. Accordingly, it is also recommended for the hospital staff and management to establish the practice of the partnership relations in the team and make the procedure of the friendly exchange of experience their routine. In this case, the situation like the one that happened in 2004 will not be observed in this and many other hospitals anymore.

Conclusions

To conclude, communication is the vital need of every human being, and the communication failure leads to serious consequences, especially when lots of people are involved in an organization where such failures take place (Graber, 2002). The case of the Children’s Hospital Boston proves this fact and demonstrates the importance of communication between the management and employees in every single organization.

The issues occurred in the hospital because of the lack of communication between the staff and the clients and led to several emergency cases which attracted even the attention of the federal authorities that carried out the investigation of the case. The Children’s Hospital Boston officials took measures to avoid similar issues in future, but the inability of some people to communicate still makes such cases possible of happening.

Works Cited

Business Wire. “Employees Most Frustrated by Lack of Communication in the Workplace, Opinion Research…” 2007. Allbusiness. Web.

Graber, Doris. The power of communications: managing information in public organizations. CQ Press; 2 edition, 2002.

Thompson Healthcare Company. “Communication failure blamed for sentinel events.” 2004. Access my Library. Web.

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International Comms Hub. “Bad management and lack of communication skills are endemic in the UK workplace.” 2006. International Comms Hub. Web.

International Comms Hub. “Lack of communication sends employees out the door.” 2006a. International Comms Hub. Web.

Lawson, Loraine. “Communication Failure Indicates Need for MDM.” 2008. IT Business Egde. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 5). Boston Children’s Hospital’s Communication Case. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/boston-childrens-hospitals-communication-case/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 5). Boston Children’s Hospital’s Communication Case. https://studycorgi.com/boston-childrens-hospitals-communication-case/

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