How To Improve Healthcare In Hospitals
The primary purpose of every hospital is to provide excellent care to every patient. However, despite this knowledge, most hospitals struggle to provide quality patient care. This is because, at one time, the healthcare staff juggles numerous responsibilities, which can often be daunting to keep up with and lead to medical negligence and patient mismanagement.
It also doesn’t help that there has been an increase in the patient population in the last decade. According to the US Census, by 2060, about one in four Americans will be above the age of 65, and the number of 85-year-olds will triple. This will put more pressure on healthcare systems and further increase the demand for better healthcare quality standards.
So what can hospitals do to ensure they’re able to meet the demands of their patients? Here’s what you need to know:
- Focus on administrative tasks
A hospital’s administration is crucial in connecting patients to the services they need. As a healthcare administrator, you play a crucial role in guiding patients, from helping them book appointments to keeping track of their records. Additionally, your area of expertise expands in ensuring the hospital’s staff has their schedule for the day, knows any new changes in policy, and, if needed, hires new staff and adds them to the growing team. This shows that being a healthcare administrator is a technical job that requires you to be a leader and know the hospital business model inside and out. Also check: Become a Nurse Educator
This is why to do your job perfectly, you should have the proper credentials that make you an effective manager. Therefore, following your bachelor’s, you should look into online MHA degrees and sign up for the coursework that will reshape you as an administrator. By improving your know-how, you can specify the problems the hospital is facing, identify the loopholes preventing patients from getting quality care, and offer practice solutions. You also learn how to manage the costs of running a hospital and address the needs of the staff.
- Leverage technology
Technology has improved the way healthcare staff looks after their patients. Modern healthcare devices and systems allow teams to save time, reduce errors while diagnosing, and accurately treat a patient. Hence, hospitals must invest more in technological advancements. For example, as a healthcare worker, you can look into modern methods to monitor a patient’s health remotely. Smart watches and fitness apps help healthcare workers track patients’ vital signs.
Remote monitoring devices have also led to lucrative innovations like the smart inhaler. The world’s first smart inhaler, Teva’s ProAir Digihaler, uses a sensor that connects to a mobile app that informs patients when to use the device. This helps patients manage the dose they need and predicts the chance of a possible asthma attack before it occurs. As a result, this reduces the chances of misusing an inhaler, simplifying work for care providers in the hospital.
Depending on the needs of your hospital, invest in the technology you need to improve patient outcomes. For example, you can use telehealth services to drastically reduce the time it takes physicians to check up on patients without needing to come to the hospital unless it’s an emergency. This way, doctors can work with rural communities that can’t access hospitals and provide them with the care they need. This saves hospitals from an influx of patients, allowing them to use limited resources better.
- Ensure transparent communication
Communication is the foundation of good management in a hospital. Without effective communication, it’s hard for staff to deliver good care to patients. Therefore a hospital must ensure that the healthcare staff is aware of the proper way to interact and talk to patients, which leaves no room for confusion. The staff must be vigilant about the body language they adopt and the tone and vocabulary they use to share information with patients.
As a doctor or a nurse, you should never rush a conversation or be dismissive about a patient’s condition. You must pay attention to what your patient tells you, ask follow-up questions, confirm the information provided, and act accordingly. Likewise, if you’re transferring a patient to another department or consulting a team member, be clear with all the information and instructions you share.
Often language barriers can pose a problem in providing quality care. In such cases, a hospital must invest in interpreters and translating apps. The administration should also encourage the staff to learn more than one language and at least pick up the second common language spoken in the region. For example, in Canada, the population speaks both English and French. So advising the staff to learn French with English can make it easier for the French-speaking population to get help.
- Create well-balanced teams
The hospital staff relies on each other to provide quality patient care. A doctor needs a team of healthcare professionals to look after a patient. Without a nurse or a medical aide, a doctor can’t administer quality care. For this reason, hospitals need to create well-balanced teams.
An effective team includes professionals from different backgrounds with diverse skills and experience. For instance, an ideal team needs a leader like a senior nurse responsible for outlining the case, highlighting the patient’s condition, and giving valuable insight that is crucial for the patient’s health. Following a senior leader, a hospital team needs a clinical manager with substantial knowledge of clinical techniques and medication to treat a patient.
Lastly, a well-balanced team needs a project manager who keeps tabs on the goals the staff needs to achieve, pushes the team to stay on track, and ensures the team stays on schedule. A collection of experts with varying perspectives can streamline how a patient is taken care of.
The purpose of any healthcare team is to divide responsibilities, work towards a common goal and prevent one healthcare professional from getting burdened with all the tasks related to the patient’s health.
Every patient deserves proper healthcare, and therefore it is crucial hospitals put in the work to achieve this goal. There are numerous factors that a hospital must work on to ensure patients get quality care. These include paying close attention to administrative tasks directly impacting how patients access healthcare. Likewise, hospitals must invest more in technological advancements that prevent patient negligence and optimize care. Furthermore, more effective communication channels must be used to reduce diagnosis errors and ensure patient comfort. Finally, a hospital needs to create well-balanced teams that can cater to all patient needs, resulting in a better quality of care.