Quality is the degree of excellence of something. And quality in healthcare refers to providing patients with safe and effective treatments at affordable rates. Moreover, a hospital or a medical center should provide treatments at the right time.
The patient gets the top priority in quality healthcare. The busy lifestyle of a patient is another factor to consider here. Efficient treatments, with no wait times, enhance overall patient satisfaction.
Value-based care has obsoleted the traditional volume-based care; patients don’t prefer the fee-for-service approach these days. They favor accountable care, obsoleting the old days’ trends.
CURRENT TECHNOLOGY AND ESSENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS
Other than during global pandemics, current healthcare services are doing a brilliant job. Mortality rates across the globe have significantly gone down because of advanced healthcare. However, some parts of the world still need the necessary improvements.
“High-quality” is a powerful business strategy. Healthcare is a service, and the quality of health care determines the quality of the service. For example, a patient visits a private hospital for a specific medical condition. We can think of two scenarios here.
1) The patient receives a fast-medical service through an expert medical team, and the right treatment is offered within the shortest possible time frame.
2) The patient walks into an overcrowded hospital, nobody to talk with the patient, and hours of waiting dissatisfies the patient, making them walk out of the door without having received any treatment.
Unfortunately, the second scenario takes place even today. Increased patient wait times causes patient dissatisfaction.
A study conducted in 2017, by an expert research group has revealed the following statistics regarding wait times and patient satisfaction:
|Star Rating||Average Wait Time|
|5||12 min, 33 sec|
|4||18 min, 29 sec|
|3||21 min, 55 sec|
|2||26 min, 33 sec|
|1||33 min, 4 sec|
Wait Time Effect on Provider Rating
Ratings given by patients under varied wait times suggest the importance of efficient and quality healthcare.
This is another area in healthcare that needs to be rectified immediately. What is inappropriate care?
Let’s understand it with this example – Anxiety and depression are two pressing mental health issues that still need side-effect-free cures. Medications prescribed for depression and anxiety lead to other side effects, including addiction, drug dependence, liver damage, etc.
Thousands of doctors across the globe prescribe various drugs for depression and anxiety, but those medications cause additional, long-term health issues. Those are examples of inappropriate care offered in hospitals and clinics.
Experts estimate that about 20-25% of treatment offered in the healthcare sector falls under inappropriate care.
The following improvements can transform healthcare for the betterment of our future:
1) ERROR-FREE CARE
Medical errors are a big concern today and the severity of this issue was the topic in an article on CNBC posted back in 2018. (Click on this link for more information https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html)
According to the article, about 250,000 patients die of medical errors every year in the United States. Can it happen in Quality Healthcare? We should fix it as soon as possible. Implementing advanced healthcare solutions is a dependable resolution here.
Doctors, nurses and other clinicians should be able to concentrate on their jobs. Immediate access to medical records of a patient gives more time for doctors and nurses to prepare for urgent medical care.
Medical errors can happen because of human factors, too. Hospital management can invest money in advanced healthcare solutions and reduce the workload on the medical staff, making them a much more productive team.
2) REDUCED TOTAL COST OF CARE & SIDE-EFFECT-FREE MEDICATIONS
Some medical treatments are expensive, making those cures unavailable or unaffordable for some patients. Affordable and quality medications with minimum side effects can take the healthcare sector to the next level.
Some prescribed medications lead to long-term physical and psychological impairments. Can we sort out this issue with advanced technology?
We can’t ignore the adverse side effects caused by most of the medicines prescribed today. Scientists can make use of artificial intelligence and analyze common side effects caused by prescription drugs. Some medications negatively affect some patients while not on others, and understanding why it affects different patients in different ways can minimize complications.
Drowsiness, lose of appetite, rashes, weight loss, hair loss, joint pains, hallucinations, low libido, liver/kidney failure, memory loss and paralysis are some of the side effects that is caused by the use of long term. Determining the least drug dose for medical conditions can lower the above side effects to a greater extent. Advanced technology can help us discover safe, alternative medications that don’t cause adverse side effects.
A CONSISTENT HEALTHCARE SECTOR
Reducing clinical variations is necessary to satisfy every patient that visits your hospital. Clinical variation refers to different patients receiving varied medical care. For example, a patient visiting the emergency department receiving prompt treatment, but another patient sent back because of overcrowded emergency rooms. In this case, two patients visit the same medical department, but the services received are not the same.
We can think of this factor on a global scale as well. Patients in some countries have access to the most advanced healthcare, but more than 50% of the world’s population don’t have access to prompt healthcare.
The cost of medical care also should be the same. Varying prices of surgeries and other medical care leads to patient dissatisfaction. For example, a particular hospital in a country charges a certain amount for a bypass surgery while another hospital charges double that amount. Enhancing patient experience with technology is essential for the betterment of our future.
The picture shown below summarizes it all.
Healthcare quality improvements result in reduced expenses, enhanced care, and increased patient satisfaction. We can look into these improvements from a business point of view and patient safety.
The Healthcare sector should understand the urgent improvements and implement those enhancements as soon as possible. Patient satisfaction leads to increased profits and the sustainability of the healthcare provider.