Establishing Effective Communication in Healthcare with William T. Sugg

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William T Sugg Effective Communication in Healthcare William T Sugg Effective Communication in Healthcare

With proper communication comes workplace efficiency, which can be established using William T. Sugg’s 3 tips.

Communication is the transfer and understanding of meaning between a sender and a receiver. William T. Sugg stresses that communication is one of the most crucial factors affecting the efficiency of an organization. Organizational communication is a collection of interactions, decisions, interpretations, and actions throughout the organization. When it comes to hospitals and healthcare, effective communication is truly the difference between life and death.
With more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare executive, William T. Sugg, founder of a 501c (3) Healthcare Foundation and a Corporate University, lists his suggestions for establishing effective communication within your organization.

Defined Hierarchy

An organizational structure dictates how the supervision, allocation of tasks, and task coordination are directed to achieve the organization’s primary objectives. If the organizational structure is not consistent and efficient, there is a greater chance of confusion and mistakes. William T. Sugg suggests implementing defined hierarchy channels of communication. This prevents discrepancies in what is expected or needed by upper level management. Objectives can effectively be communicated down the chain of command quickly without hesitation or delay.

Williiam T. Sugg notes that two key factors to effective downward communication channels is the accuracy and speed of information. Communications should be as simple as possible and easy to understand across various departments. Effective communication channels that enhance the speed and accuracy include email, instant message, or mobile communication. Employees can use messages as reference to their job task or objective. Face to face communication has been shown to increase the chances of misinformation being passed downward. Almost everyone has played the game telephone where the message is whispered around a circle of players and at the end of the circle, the last person recites the message. More often than not, that message is vastly different than what was originally said.


Receiving clear direction is crucial, but William T. Sugg also highlights the importance of management’s attitude towards receiving criticism. When management allows constructive criticism or concerns to be communicated upward, there is greater mutual trust between employees and upper level management. Management does not have the ability to be everywhere at all times. Team members need to be able to communicate what they are experiencing to their superiors to give management visibility of constraints. To prevent the distrust, upper management needs to be as transparent as possible, providing clear directions and intent, as well as be receptive to criticism. If management refuses to hear the employee’s perspective, it can create serious issues within the organization in morale, retention rates, and long term problems that may continue to build if they go unaddressed.