Communication Mediums as Examined by Clients
Table 1 present results of mediums used by clients for communications before coming (External), and within the hospital (internal).
Out of the 303 clients interviewed on the mediums for internal communications, a few (n= 8, 2.64%) identified emails as the usual media for communicating with care providers, and majority (n=248, 81.8%) indicated they normally used direct means (Face-to-face) for all enquiries at the hospital. About 14.2% (n=43) clients preferred communicating through meetings with health professionals whereas 10.6% (n=32) usually communicated with professionals through social media (mainly WhatsApp). A proportion of about 4.3% (n=13) clients indicated that they normally communicate with providers through Letters/Notes in hand, especially when referred from other facilities, and 11.5% (n=35) of them usually used mobile phone calls for interacting with their care provider (Doctor) within the hospital.
With respect to the type mediums used for external (before hospital visits) communications, few clients (n=8, 2.6%) opted for emails as the usual means of communicating with providers. A section of about 28% (n=85) preferred having direct contact (face-to-face) with care provider before the scheduled visit date. About 5.3% (n=16) of clients normally used social media for discussions and enquiries, and 26.4% (n=80) indicated that they usually used mobile phone calls to contact the hospital before coming to the hospital.
Assessment of the effectiveness of the mediums employed during external communication shows 29.4% (n=89) of respondents viewing the mediums to be effective (Table 1).
Communication Mediums as Examined by Health Workers
The mediums used for staff-to-management communications, staff-to-staff communications and staff-to-client communications were examined and reported in table 2. It also shows a detailed description and rating of the performance of the various mediums used for communication.
Among the various mediums assessed, memos was observed to be used by more than half (n=171, 56.4%) of the staff while 5.9% (n=8) used emails to interact with management of the hospital. Close to ninety percent (n=, 272, 89.8%) of the staff resorted to face-to-face as a medium to communicate with each other and about 97.4% (n=295) communicate with their clients by face-to-face (Table 2).
Communication Mediums as Examined by Management
The views of management members was sought on the purpose and various mediums or channels used for communication at the hospital and reported in table 3. Half (n=22, 50%) of the management agreed that the current mediums were used to notify staff of changes in the hospital. Close to half (n=21, 47.7 %) of the management agreed that the current mediums were used to notify the public and clients on the available services at the hospital, while 38.6% (n=17) disagreed to that. About 45.5% (n=20) of the management agreed that messages sent through the mediums were relevant whiles 38.6% were in disagreement to that. More than sixty percent (n=28, 63.6%) and almost half (n=21, 47.7) of the management agreed that messages sent through the mediums were consistent and credible respectively.
Respondents indicated some mechanisms used for disseminating feedbacks at the hospital as follows; feedback through surveys (n=16, 36.4%), feedback through anonymous response cards (n=15, 34.1%), feedbacks through direct contact with supervisors (n=28, 63.6%) and feedbacks through suggestion boxes (n=17, 38.64%). About one third of the management (n=15, 34.1%) rated the communication mediums as effective in gathering feedbacks.
Respondents shared their views on the effectiveness of the various communication mediums in table 4 as follows; Emails were identified as effective sometimes (n=24, 54. 5%) while face-to-face medium which was noted by 45.%(n=20) respondents as effective all the time. Meetings and social media were noted as effective sometimes by 68.2% (n=30) and 61.4 % (n=27) of management members respectively, while 22.7% (n=10) endorsed newsletters as effective means of communication (table 4).
With regards to efficiency of the mediums used, 56.8% (n=25) and 45.5% (n=20) of the respondents viewed email and face-to-face respectively as efficient sometimes. Again, meetings and social media were noted by 59.1% (n-26) and 56.8% (n=25) respectively as efficient and 52.3% (n=23) cited newsletter as efficient sometimes. Telephone and memos usage were indicated as efficient sometimes by 65.9% (n=29) and 61.4%(n=27) respondents respectively. Generally, the communication mediums used at the hospital was rated by 38.6% (n=17) of the management as good (Table 5).