Communication breakdowns between healthcare professionals and the families of hospitalized patients often lead to uncertainty and emotional distress. Effective communication is crucial for providing quality care and supporting families during critical medical situations. This article examines how Information Technologies (IT) can mitigate these challenges by improving communication dynamics in healthcare settings.


The Role of Information Technologies

Information Technologies have revolutionized healthcare communication by offering efficient channels for sharing information and maintaining connectivity. Platforms such as email, SMS, and social media enable healthcare providers to relay updates promptly, address concerns, and involve families in care decisions regardless of geographical barriers.


Existing literature emphasizes the significant impact of IT solutions on healthcare communication. Studies have assessed the implementation of IT tools, highlighting their role in meeting the diverse information needs of patient families across various medical contexts. However, gaps remain in understanding the specific dimensions of these interactions and the efficacy of IT interventions.


Development and Validation of SITITHP Questionnaire

To address these gaps, the "Survey of Interactions Through Information Technologies for Health Professionals" (SITITHP) questionnaire was developed. This tool aims to comprehensively evaluate IT usage patterns, information requirements, and communication preferences among healthcare providers in their interactions with patient families.


The development of SITITHP involved a rigorous process, starting with a comprehensive literature review to identify key dimensions of healthcare communication. A pilot study was conducted with simulated health professionals to refine and validate the questionnaire's structure and content. Statistical analyses including Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO), and exploratory factor analysis were employed to assess reliability and construct validity.


Validating SITITHP: Enhancing Healthcare Communication through IT Solutions

The validation process revealed strong internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.848) across all dimensions: IT use, information needs, and interaction preferences. Factor analysis identified three distinct dimensions that collectively explained 67.775% of the variance, highlighting the questionnaire's robustness in capturing essential aspects of healthcare communication.


The validated SITITHP questionnaire offers a valuable tool for future research aimed at optimizing communication strategies in healthcare settings. It provides a framework to tailor IT interventions according to specific communication needs, thereby enhancing patient care and family satisfaction. Future studies should focus on applying SITITHP in diverse clinical environments to further validate its utility and generalizability.


Limitations of the study include the use of simulated health professionals and a relatively small sample size, which may affect the applicability of findings to real-world healthcare settings. Future research should aim to replicate these findings with larger, more diverse samples to strengthen the validity and reliability of the questionnaire.


IT solutions present promising opportunities to overcome communication barriers in healthcare. By integrating IT tools effectively, healthcare providers can foster more informed, transparent, and supportive interactions with patient families. SITITHP represents a significant advancement in understanding and improving communication practices in hospital settings, paving the way for enhanced patient outcomes and overall healthcare experiences.


Moving forward, continued efforts to integrate IT solutions into healthcare communication frameworks are essential. By addressing communication challenges through innovative technological solutions and validated tools like SITITHP, healthcare providers can optimize patient care delivery and ensure families feel informed and supported throughout their loved one's hospitalization journey.


Source: Health Informatics Journal

Image Credit: iStock


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