Health Care Communications Methods

Nursing home administrator is a leader in a organization who not only directs its operations but is also responsible for setting the tone for different cultures. (Anthony Cirillo, 2014) The administrator is to make sure that the facility is running smoothly and that all patients and staff members are taken care of their needs. The administrator will be the one to make sure that patients are moved to other facilities, make sure the records are transferred correctly, and to inform the facility that they are being bought by another company. The administrator will also explain to each staff member, family members, and physicians what is going on in full details. The first form of communication when the nursing home administrator finds out what is going to take place is a written notice, this notice is to be sent to all parties that will be involved in the process of closure.

A written notice can either be a good advantage or a bad advantage, it depends on how and who it is sent to. Written notice communication can sometimes confuse people who really do not understand the language of the letter this can cause some people to question the administrator and her work. Communicating by writing is also an advantage when it will be sent to physicians, staff members, and outside agencies, because they will understand what is going on and can respond with the necessary needs. (Michigan Nursing Facility State Closure Team January 2005) When the nursing home administrator finds out the facility is going to another company, the administrator is to inform the staff of what is going to take place with the facility.

The administrator will communicate with them either by email, written notice, or in person. The advantage of communicating with the staff with email is that it’s fast and easier for the staff members to look at while taking care of their patients. Communicating with them by written notice is advantage because the staff will be able to wait until their shift is over to read the notice and ask questions if need be.

The administrator and staff must try to find other facilities that are available to take some of their patients. The administrator must make sure that all records are kept safe under the HIPAA laws while informing other facilities about the patients’ needs and treatments that they are receiving at their facility. Keeping patients records safe and in order will lessen the transfer of patients and help the families to get them settled into their new facility. The advantage of using social media is that facilities can open up communication that can lead to enhanced information discovery and delivery. It can also allow their employees to discuss their ideas, post their thoughts, and ask questions about what they should do. Social media will also target a different type of audience that can help with relocating patients, transferring patients, and the needs of families. (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012)

There are some disadvantages to using social media for this problem and they are it could open up the possibility of hackers getting patients records or staff information. It can also lead to fraud, virus attacks and even overload of spam. Social media disadvantages could also increase the risk of patients and their families falling prey to online scams that could lead to identity theft. Lastly, employee could leave negative comments about the facility, staff members, and even the physicians about the work that goes on in the facility the good and the bad. (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012) There are several reasons that could affect the HIPAA laws and social media about this facility closing. One staff members could be posting on networking sites about patients and accidently say their name or condition, and someone figures out who they are talking about and this could cause patient information to get out.

In addition, some employees could simply be discussing their day or an unusual health care case they saw, and they feel like that is not violating the HIPAA law. When dealing with HIPAA and social media when it comes to patients and the closing of a facility, everyone involved has to be on their toes and not violate the rules. Employers and employees must know how to communicate with social media without releasing any patient names or conditions, and not get into trouble behind the HIPAA rules. If someone breaks the HIPAA laws and they are found to be guilty of the problem, there are sanctions that can be made against that person or persons involved.

These sanctions could range from civil penalties ranging in the minimum amount of $100 per violation, to a maximum of $50,000 per violation of the HIPAA rules. These sanctions are for the facility that is an covered-entity under the HIPAA rules and regulations that they have to follow. (Dimick, 2010) According to Chris Dimick, “All workforce members of this facility are prohibited, with some degree of exceptions, from using or revealing individually recognizable health information (“protected health information,” or PHI) without a written authorization from that individual or family member for whom the PHI pertains to, and any permission must cover very detailed language to meet the terms of HIPAA.”


Chris Dimick, Privacy Policies for Social Media, JOURNAL OF AHIMA, Jan. 6, 2010, Best Practices for Voluntary Nursing Facility Closure, Michigan Nursing Facility State Closure Team, 2005

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