The biomedical engineering technicians (BMETs)/clinical engineers (CEs) in the clinical engineering (CE) departments primarily in hospitals hold responsibilities for the maintenance, and proper functioning of all patientcare devices, networks, and systems to protect patient safety. However, departmental leadership communication problems with staff posed barriers to the effective flow of information. This study’s purpose aimed at identifying the communication barriers preventing the flow of information between leaders and CEs/BMETs, and ascertaining possible solutions to these challenges. Paucity of information on the roles and functions of CEs/BMETs enabled service contribution gaps in healthcare. The researcher utilized the leadership and communication framework guided by the full range leadership (FRL) and the leader-member exchange (LMX) theories as foundation for the study. An online qualitative phenomenological design methodology developed, obtained anonymously the perspectives of the leaders and CEs in hospitals in the U.S on four research questions relating to barriers and solutions to communication challenges. Twenty-two leaders and CEs connected through LinkedIn and AAMI websites, responded to a questionnaire of 10 open-ended questions and background information via the Qualtrics online platform for data collection. Content/thematic data analysis application evoked the emergence of themes identifying barriers including the hierarchical systems, personality conflicts, and non-inclusion in decision makings. Solution suggestions included more frequent meetings, inclusions, and leadership trainings. Conclusively, the existing communication problems negatively affected patient safety, employee satisfaction, and hospital outputs. Qualified trained leaders and the inclusion of CEs in decision-makings should potentially improve communication. Future research should evaluate effects of leadership communication on patient safety, training, and the educational qualifications of leaders.
|Advisor:||Ziemba, Steve, Demeter, Lori|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Barriers, Clinical engineer, Communication, Leadership, Patient safety, Qualitative|
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