Despite being costly, an AMA journal report found that most healthcare institutions and providers deliver below-average to poor services to their patients. Nearly a third of healthcare clinicians provide services that hardly improve patients’ health and quality of life. These findings have increased the pressure on healthcare institutions to improve patient outcomes.
Healthcare providers can initiate immediate measures, such as hiring qualified personnel and offering continuous education. Encouraging healthcare providers, especially nurses, to undertake regular certification programs, such as ACLS certification from Newcastle Training, can also help in the long run. Below are other ways healthcare institutions can improve patient outcomes.
1. Improve the accuracy of diagnoses
A successful recovery and positive patient experience require healthcare providers to make an accurate diagnosis. Ideally, the doctors’ first interactions with the patient determine their treatment therapy, outcome, and costs. Doctors should make a quick but accurate diagnosis to eliminate the risks of wrong treatment plans, ultimately leading to poor patient outcomes.
Unfortunately, diagnosing patients can prove challenging in some situations. Besides human error, system errors beyond the doctors’ control can also occur. Human errors occur when doctors fixate on a specific health condition and ignore or misinterpret patient data. On the other hand, system errors that impact diagnosis include communication breakdown, delays, and misunderstandings between hospitals and other complementary service providers, such as labs and diagnostic units.
Healthcare providers should find ways of mitigating diagnostic errors to improve patient treatment outcomes. Wrong diagnosis results in unnecessary treatments, long hospital stays, and other consequences. It can also worsen the patient’s condition, readmissions, and legal battles.
2. Address the patients’ physical needs
Most healthcare providers focus on patients’ healthcare needs, ignoring their physical wants. However, patients appreciate being reminded and motivated to exercise daily, engage in pain-relieving activities, and meet other physical needs.
Emergency, primary care, specialty centers, and long-term healthcare service providers shouldn’t overlook patients’ comfort and physical needs for various reasons. For starters, most people find hospitals an uncomfortable and unfamiliar environment. Ignoring this important aspect of your patient’s needs can delay healing.
Actively engaged, comfortable, and well-fed patients comply with treatment plans better. Healthcare workers should also address the patient’s mental and emotional needs, especially older patients with chronic conditions.
3. Involve friends and family members
Healthcare providers should also embrace the contribution of their patients’ friends and family members for positive outcomes. They should adopt family-centered care that allows collaboration between competent medical personnel, patients, and caretakers. Collaborative care plans and decision-making can significantly improve treatment outcomes.
Medical personnel should learn to listen, share information, and allow patients to exercise their freedom of choice. Collaborative care also calls for medical personnel to coordinate treatment interventions with other healthcare providers. Primary patient care planners, social service officers, and nursing homes should combine their efforts to provide holistic care.
The use of patient-reported outcomes in determining the quality and satisfaction of patients is slowly gaining traction. Healthcare agencies and regulatory bodies now easily collect patient feedback using questionnaires, self-reporting apps, and portals. This has made medical services value-based and increased pressure on healthcare institutions and personnel to improve patient outcomes.