Samantha Sheng

Power between Patients and Providers 

Understanding why perceived power in healthcare inhibits communication and affects patient care.

Hand hygiene is essential to keep patients, professionals, and the public safe. Strong hierarchical relations are not healthy and can compromise the quality of patient care.

A collaborative workplace is ideal for providers and patients to speak up and be heard to encourage providers to do optional tasks that benefit them like hand washing. This research focused on a combination of scientific information and social psychology about the social constructs behind hand hygiene and hospital hierarchy.

Challenge

Healthcare is a large industry that I had difficulty synthesizing all my research. Researching healthcare relations is difficult due to privacy and HIPAA laws when I wanted to shadow medical providers to understand their environment and day to day activities. I had to shift to observing public areas like waiting rooms. Then due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it affected my ability to conduct in-person research but also helped address the problem of lack of hand hygiene where people today are more cautious and motivated to be healthy and clean.

Outcome

Created tools to address behaviour change and the communication gap between patients and medical providers to break down the perceived power between their relationship. Also, embracing the Covid-19 pandemic as an event to research how it enforced new behaviour by understanding what motivates people can increase hand hygiene compliance in healthcare and patient compliance.

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