The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that patient-centered care is all about providing patients with responsive, respectful, and according to the patients’ values, needs, and preferences. Yet, while having one of the world’s most expensive healthcare systems, the USA ranks only 26th on various patient care indicators, including life expectancy. Moreover, over a third of healthcare services provided in the country don’t improve a patient’s quality of life and well-being. Thus improving the service requires aggressively implementing holistic, ongoing care management techniques that stretch beyond the typical outpatient and inpatient systems. In order to do so, we’ve listed a few ways healthcare managers, leaders, and practitioners can look into for providing patients with better care. These include:
Hire the right team
Hiring the wrong professionals in healthcare can adversely impact the level of service patients receive. Sometimes, experience and qualifications aren’t enough to gauge a potential employee. Recruiters in healthcare must hire individuals who have the right drive and personality- people who can put the facility’s goal of providing patient-centered care above personal goals. HR managers should also visit various online job platforms and interview a handful of individuals to find who fits the bill. By hiring the right people, hospitals will be able to improve patient outcomes.
Design better healthcare systems
And while management is looking for the right people to hire, consider hiring professionals with a healthcare engineering degree and related experience. These professionals help to design effective systems for improving the delivery of patient-centered care and outcomes. These may include several improvements such as data collection to suggest better treatment plans and reduced time lags in service delivery. In addition, updated processes that provide timely help to patients in critical conditions are integral to reducing casualties in the ER.
Treat patients respectfully
Patients have indirect and direct needs that might positively and negatively affect treatment outcomes. For example, accessibility to care, financial assistance, and mobility will ultimately influence their choices and hospital experience. Likewise, taking care of and acknowledging these factors is essential for letting patients know that management respect their needs. When patients understand that the system respects their needs and is willing to cater to them, they will be more inclined to seek help. Ultimately, this will help them follow their care plan more effectively.
Improve access to care
Patients need and must have access to adequate care at the proper time to address their healthcare concerns. However, around 15% of the American population doesn’t have healthcare insurance, forcing them to go into medical debt, opt for inferior services, or avoid medical help altogether. For instance, according to research, around 75 % of yearly health spending in the USA is on underlying chronic diseases. However, according to the CDC, American citizens’ rate of access to preventative care is about 50 percent.
Of course, improving access to quality care doesn’t depend entirely on getting patients to a primary care physician. It is also about enhancing where and how they receive treatment. Many experts argue that today’s healthcare facilities are just too fragmented to provide patients with high-quality, timely care. However, any efforts to share information, collaborate, and connect with patients will be a step in the right direction. For instance, most hospitals have introduced robust wellness programs to provide more accessible and convenient care to their patients.
Collaborate with other healthcare providers
Social services, hospitals, nursing homes, and primary care planners provide patients with medical help that may overlap. Hence it makes sense to collaborate with different professionals and services to offer a holistic experience to patients. However, to ensure the collaborative efforts are productive, incorporate a care management platform that facilitates communication between different parts and professionals of the partnership. These platforms enable healthcare facilities to monitor patient care progress, provide access to better treatment opportunities, determine opportunities, and improve patient outcomes. In addition, you can leverage the latest tools and software on the internet to ensure good collaboration.
Help patients manage their prescription medication
It is necessary to teach patients about various medication management techniques for effective pain and symptom management. Hospital staff, especially physicians, doctors, and nurses, must provide every patient and their family members with an accurate and complete list of medications. Once the medication list is available via a care management platform, it will be easier for patients to purchase, restock, and share side effects. Not to mention, modern software can also help identify patient behaviors that might put them at risk of missing medication, underdosing, and overdosing. Healthcare providers can monitor this data to improve the treatment plan for providing better patient-centered care.
Support your patients’ mental and emotional well-being
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, chronic health conditions and physical trauma can lead to mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. For instance, stress can impact a patient’s energy expenditure, immune system response, and mood. Furthermore, medications used to treat some chronic conditions might also affect the brain as a side effect. For example, according to a Science Daily report, antidepressants may also worsen anxiety in some cases. To ensure that you provide your patients with the best possible care, refer them to a mental health professional while undergoing complex treatment for life-altering conditions. As mentioned above, incorporating a care management platform will enable patients and professionals to collaborate with mental health facilities across the entire country and address patients’ needs.
Patient-centered care is all about improving the patient’s overall well-being. It provides healthcare professionals a way to catapult patient care quality to higher accuracy, success, and patient satisfaction standards. That said, adopting a more humanistic way to interact with patients and their family members and acknowledging their views will help improve patient care. It will also boost productivity and enhance the hospital’s operational efficiency in the process.