Receiving adequate healthcare is the basic right of every individual. However, healthcare quality differs across all nations and even within their public and private sectors. These differences have led to a higher probability of loopholes that have deteriorated the quality of healthcare provision.
By adhering to the demands of their patients, healthcare providers can be more transparent and focus on what’s being asked for rather than what’s available but is of no use. For instance, making primary healthcare provision more patient-centric can bring systemic change as primary healthcare providers are more in touch with the patients. This way, they can be more up-to-date with their patient’s needs and improve from thereupon.
This article will walk you through some of the crucial steps that must be taken for a better healthcare experience for all.
- Collection and Analysis of Data
If you can’t measure or collect data, it can’t be managed or used for making data-driven policies, as said by Peter Drucker, a renowned management aficionado. Drucker emphasizes that before the healthcare system considers policy-making for improvement, there is a need for the collection of data that will help make data-driven decisions. But where does this data come from?
Previously, EHRs were considered as the revolutionizing factor in making data-driven decisions for the healthcare system. For starters, patient-centric data, and operational data from individual organizations, can be used to identify where improvement is needed. However, EHRs mainly focus on better documentation of patient experiences and streamlined billing to enhance revenue generation.
The education of primary healthcare providers is also a serious concern. For example, advanced degrees like an affordable RN to BSN program must be integrated into the education sector. The mere subject of data collection also drives attention to the fact that healthcare providers must be dedicated to bringing about the changes that are needed.
- Goal Setting and Commitment to Action
Once data has been collected and analyzed, certain frameworks and imperative frameworks and guides have been consulted, the next step involves using that information to execute actionable goals that will improve the quality of medical care. The data collected from the patient population can be used to evaluate where change is needed, and that is where you begin analyzing how to bring that change.
Numerous health organizations have acquired quality control methods that could be used as a framework in setting actionable goals for the healthcare system. Some of these are the National Quality and Forum and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. However, goals are not just for setting. They are for consistent guidance throughout the process. Therefore, it is an ongoing and time-consuming process.
- Improve Access to Care
In most cases, not being able to receive timely and necessary healthcare treatment is the concern of patients who the healthcare system has failed. Patients must have access to preventive care at the right time to avoid the risk of a mild healthcare problem evolving into a bigger issue later on.
Provision of primary care not just depends on patients receiving adequate care, but lack of it also signifies the irregular distribution of the healthcare network. The fragmentation of healthcare services is the reason why most patients don’t even have access to preventive care. To provide improved access to care implies creating a more regularized healthcare network where primary care providers are at the forefront.
- Improved Patient Care
It goes without saying that if the healthcare system needs improvement, enhancing patient care should be the utmost priority. Institute of Medicine (IOM) has identified six domains where improvement is imperative for better patient outcomes and overall improvement in healthcare quality.
- Safe: a safe and harmless patient experience during treatment
- Effective: Provision of useful and up-to-date medical services that have a purpose, rather services that bear no healthy outcome on the patient’s health
- Timely: Time-efficient management of patients’ appointments and a reduction in their waiting times
- Efficient: Lack of disregard for energy and time wastage, as well as expensive medical equipment
- Equitable: Making sure that patients from all socio-economic backgrounds receive adequate and analogous healthcare
- Patient-centered: Ensuring that patient’s preferences are hoisted, and their interests and values are respected when being medically treated
In light of this framework, healthcare quality can improve across all levels – individual and institutional.
- Enhanced Patient Experiences
Apart from improving healthcare provision, patients must be proactively taught how to better advocate their health concerns. The primary healthcare providers can specifically improve on this by taking note of the patient’s entire medical journey before they are recommended for further treatment.
- Collaborate with Healthcare Organizations
True improvement can only come from an integrated approach towards change. This integration can take place in the form of evidence-based research and initiatives. Furthermore, organizations can also learn from one another and improve where their healthcare provision lags.
Improvement in healthcare can come from several contributing factors. These factors would improve the quality of medical treatment received by the patients and ensure that every patient is heard and treated respectfully.