Healthcare Paper on Communication Problems in a Clinic

Communication Problems in a Clinic


Communication is an integral part in any organization. Communication can be either horizontal or vertical (McClure & Montague, 2013). Free flow of information allows increased accountability from staff and leadership in healthcare facilities. Further, communication, both verbal and non-verbal is vital for organizational success. Notably, organizational leadership should embrace free flow of information in order to realize organizational goals.

This study examines the problems observed in a clinic, particularly, bad communication between the patient, nurse, and the radiation therapists. A discussion on how to apply Six Sigma as quality improvement approach will be done. Additionally, an over view of the problem, a detailed description of the tool to be used to improve the situation, and the desired results will be given.

Problem Background

Healthcare facility has pediatric patients who need to be transported on an ambulance every day for treatment. However, the problem is the nurses who schedule the transport time without informing the radiation therapists what time the patient is coming. Additionally, the nurses do not inform the radiation therapists when the transport time has been canceled so as to make the therapists not to waste time waiting. This problem has been attributed to bad communication. Ingrained in Six Sigma as quality improvement approach, better communication strategies between staff members will be examined to address the anomaly.

Six Sigma

This communication approach is based in the quality standard that specifies a goal of not more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. It emphasizes on Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) methodologies in solving problems. In order for Six Sigma approach to be effectively implemented, total commitment of the top healthcare facility management is critical. The management of the healthcare facility should analyze the problem of bad communication between the nurses and the radiation therapists and strategize on ways to improve their communication structure. The management should first identify the problem before strategizing on how to address it.

The healthcare facility’s communication problem is ingrained in leadership failure. The facility lacks an extensive communication structure to take responsibility of ensuring that transport activities are attained by embracing proper communication channels between the nurse and the radiation therapists.

Leadership strategies


Problem identification and Decision-Making Tools

Root cause analysis

Root Cause Analysis is a problem solving technique that helps individuals determine the question of why the problem took place in the first place. It identifies the origin of a problem by use of specific steps, tools, to finding the primary cause of the problem (McClure & Montague, 2013). The management of the healthcare facility should embrace root cause analysis in identifying the present problem and solving it. The approach presumes that the healthcare facility systems are interrelated. One action in one department triggers an action in another department. Further, the healthcare facility management should unravel the origin of the problem and seeks ways of addressing them by enhancing effective communication network.

Value stream mapping

Value stream mapping is premised on a lean-management approach for analyzing the current organizational activities and designing a future state in the material and information flow mapping design. A flow is created, definition the problem, setting goals, objectives, and selection of the mapping team is done (McClure & Montague, 2013). The management team of the healthcare facility should assess the current ineffective communication problem by embracing value stream mapping and set institute an effective communication channel to address the bad communication between the nurse and radiation therapists.

Strategies for addressing the Problem

Quality Circles

Ingrained in Six Sigma, the management of the healthcare facility should create a group of between six and twelve staff members who volunteer to meet regularly to discuss, and solve problems regarding the ineffective communication. Notably, the group should address the effectiveness and give recommendations.

All the healthcare staff should be encouraged to work as a team in the identification of the steps necessary for the improvement of the working practices. Besides, holding joint meetings will help the teams to focus on addressing ineffectiveness in communication presently experienced.

Communication and Information flow

The success of the healthcare facility is premised on the vision of high performance, customer focused, team work, the creation of a learning environment, and making continuous improvement part of the daily activities. Continuous information flow from the management to the staff and a shared vision will help develop a continuous improvement culture on communication and knowledge management by making all the staff members of the healthcare facility.

Implementing the effective communication initiatives will help guide the communications objectives of ensuring clarity of information flow and providing timely feedback to enhance effective communication between the nurse and the radiation therapists. Effective co-ordination of transport activities and regular update of radiation therapists through regular timely communication will help address the present bad communication.


This study was ingrained in bad communication between the patient, nurse, and the radiation therapists in a healthcare facility. In order to address the ineffective communication, this study analyzed a corrective action by embracing Six Sigma approach. The approach is premised on measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling problem. Embracing effective communication and information flow was found critical in addressing the problem.


McClure, M. & Montague, R. (2013). Correlates of Behavioral Preferences. A Journal for IMC Strategic Planning, 44, 370 – 377.