Interpersonal Communication is an Essential Piece to a Successful Project
A leader must use advanced communication skills in order to facilitate new implementations in the healthcare environment. Interpersonal communication is vital to building relationships to ensure a project’s success. Open and transparent communication effectively drives a project forward while creating an environment of learning and development. Communication is essential to project management to facilitate a smooth transition between project stages. (Culo & Skendrovi, 2010) The purpose of this scholarly paper is to discuss the communication plan of the Left Without Being Seen (LWBS) project at Chamberlain Hospital’s emergency department.
Project management consists of 5 stages. The stages include the design, plan, implementation, regulation, and conclusion of the project. A nurse manager should have buy-in prior to the start of the project’s initial stages. (Herrera, 2016) In order to have buy-in from the staff, a project manager needs to facilitate effective communication. Poor communication during change initiatives may lead to a project being unsuccessful. (Parker, Kunde, & Zeppetella, 2017) In order to develop a successful communication plan, the project manager must correctly identify key stakeholders to ensure the success of the new implementation. The communication plan highlights the right person, the way that the communication is delivered, the frequency of the communication, and a clear assignment of designated tasks. Decreasing the LWBS by 2.6% in Chamberlain Hospital’s ED will be through identifying the established chain of command through the ED.
In this case, the process will start with the staff reporting LWBS cases to the charge nurse. Each shift, the charge nurse will keep the patient name, medical record number, and a brief description of the event. This will empower staff to report issues and come up with potential solutions, creating an environment of learning and development. This creates a decentralized structure for the project to lay it’s foundation. Empowering staff facilitates accountability as staff take ownership of issues at the micro-level as they report barriers up the chain of command to the charge nurse. The charge nurse notes all LWBS instances on the huddle form that is given to the manager for morning huddle. During morning huddle, the charge nurse reports the LWBS case and what we could have done better to accommodate the patient. This open and transparent style of communication creates a culture of critical thinking, honesty, and ownership of issues that occur in the emergency department.
LWBS cases are reported vertically through the chain of command to the nurse manager of the ED where she analyzes it in leadership huddle with the CNO, Director of ED, and Director of Quality. This is conducted on a daily basis and is delivered in a clear and concise manner on a huddle template in order to standardize reporting to deliver in an efficient manner. In leadership huddle, potential solutions are identified and problems areas are addressed with a plan of improvement. Solutions in daily huddle are recorded by the project manager. The project manager emails a weekly report on the LWBS progress to the CNO, Director of Nursing, and Director of Quality. The communication with the CNO, Director of Nursing, and Director of Quality is primarily through email and electronic communication. Clear and concise reports of how the project is moving throughout its stages are delivered on a weekly basis. A debriefing on the meeting with the nurse manager is also given in the weekly report. The weekly report has the daily LWBS percentages in order to identify trends. The report has a plan of action for each LWBS case that is addressed with the ED manager. The ED manager then communicates the plan of action in daily huddle with her staff.
Although email is used as an efficient and effective tool, face-to-face communication is still more preferred. (Smit, Bond-Barnard, Steyn, & Fabris-Rotelli, 2017) Therefore a face-to-face meeting is scheduled weekly to monitor progress of the project and guide it towards future stages. Key stakeholders in this meeting are the ED nurse manager, assistant nurse manager, ED charge nurse, and project manager. In this meeting, cases are studied to identify issues in workflow or patient flow through ED. Barriers are addressed and are met with a plan of action. Data is also analyzed in order to identify the trend of LWBS. Using a face-to-face interaction helps to improve interpersonal relationships. Face-to-face communication is essential to project management in order to facilitate a smooth transition between project stages. (Culo & Skendrovi, 2010)
In conclusion, communication is an essential piece to a successful project. The communication plan is established to identify the type and frequency of the communication that will be used in the project. Vertical and horizontal communication is essential when delivering clear and concise tasks during the delegation process. The process of management is the proper delegation of tasks through a specific plan in order to reach the project’s goals. (Huber, 2014) In order to successfully go through the project’s stages, a communication plan will be established to identify key stakeholders and the information that they will need to help drive the project forward. Through the use of weekly reports, electronic communication, and face-to-face interactions, the project manager aims to successfully complete the project while facilitating a culture that is person-centered and full of learning and development.
Culo, K., & Skendrovi, V. (2010). Communication management is critical for project success. Informatologia, 43(3), 228. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=257b282e-61ce-4a91-8d6d-f3a4472ca150%40pdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=55506529&db=lih
Herrera, C. (2016, November). Nurse mnager enthusiasm key to project management. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 47(11), 8-9. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000502804.14553.26
Huber, D. L. (2014) Leadership & Nursing Care Management (5th ed.). The University of Iowa: Elsevier Inc.
Parker, D., Kunde, R., & Zeppetella, L. (2017). Exploring communication in project-based interventions. International Journal of Productivity & Performance Management, 66(2), 146-179. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=ed793786-fcdc-4d99-91e2-bf48ade7dab5%40sessionmgr101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=120818278&db=edb
Smit, M. C., Bond-Barnard, T. J., Steyn, H., & Fabris-Rotelli, I. (2017, August 11). Email communication in project management: A bane or a blessing? South African Journal ofInformation Management, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v19i1.826
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