9 Ways to Improve Patient Care

From 2020 to 2021, life expectancy in the US declined while rebounding in most comparable countries. Life expectancy is directly associated with the quality of medical services. Revolutionizing how healthcare providers treat patients should be the utmost priority for healthcare facilities now and in the future.

The quality of patient care is made up of various factors, such as:

  • quality of medical infrastructure
  • education and competence of medical staff
  • sufficiency of training for healthcare providers
  • efficiency of clinic management operations
  • use of new technologies

Maximizing all these factors improves patient treatment quality and patient satisfaction. In this article, we provide you with nine valuable solutions to boost patient care in your facility. But first, let’s look at…

Most frequent errors in hospitals

Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that in the US, more than 250,000 deaths per year can be attributed to medical errors. Unfortunately, in the healthcare field, medical errors can have huge costs and lead to destructive consequences for patients. Look at these common types of medical mistakes in clinics:

  1. Communication issues. Lack of communication or poor communication among physicians, clinical staff, nurses, and others can result in medical errors. 
  2. Poor medical data flow. When patient-related information is broken up, incomplete, or obsolete, it only gives physicians a partial picture of a patient’s history and can result in wrong diagnoses and prescribed medications.
  3. Human errors. These errors happen when medical workers violate obligatory healthcare regulations, standards, and procedures, or when a healthcare provider lacks the knowledge to provide a specific type of care.
  4. Patient-related mistakes. These errors occur when a patient has been insufficiently examined or diagnosed or received unclear instructions from their physician about how to take medicines or adhere to their care regimen. 
  5. Lack of education. This occurs when facilities don’t have an efficient education system for medical personnel, including training and regular assessments of healthcare providers’ performance. 
  6. Staffing shortages. The lack of a proficient medical workforce may increase the likelihood of clinical mistakes.
  7. Inefficient policies and regulations. Occasionally, the root of medical errors can be poor documentation processes in a hospital and inadequate keeping of medical records.
  8. Technical issues. These can be problems with medical equipment, devices, or programs, or they can be cybersecurity issues. 

Implementing clinic software into your healthcare practice can reduce and prevent medical errors. In the USA, according to the National Library of Medicine, it’s been calculated that medication errors harm at least 1.5 million patients annually, with about 400,000 preventable adverse events. Hospitals that have implemented automated documents, records, data entry, and medical decision-making support experience lower healthcare costs and lower death rates.

Consider implementing clinic management software such as ExpertBox. ExpertBox is HIPAA-compliant and supports electronic health records, document automation, payment automation, and patient management to ensure safe and quality patient care.

9 ways to take better care of your patients

If you truly want to improve patient care and make it more coordinated, higher quality, and more accessible, read on to learn how you can do it quickly and efficiently:

#1 Switch to a patient-oriented approach

Patient-centered care empowers patients to be involved in their own healthcare and actively participate in healthcare decision-making. To take a patient-oriented approach, physicians and other medical staff need to build more effective relationships with patients, show empathy, be compassionate, and consider each patient’s specific personality and needs.

Patient-centered care

Healthcare providers who are ready to adopt patient-oriented care need to:

  • understand what is essential to their patients when receiving healthcare 
  • emphasize communication with patients and involve them in decision-making
  • make patients feel comfortable and create a friendly atmosphere 
  • consider cultural, psychological, and socio-economic factors while prescribing medicines or evaluating a care plan

#2 Improve access to healthcare 

Many patients have concerns regarding rising healthcare costs. The percentage of Americans who report skipping care in the prior three months because of its cost tripled from 10% in March 2021 to 30% in October 2021.

Care skipped by Americans because of high healthcare costs

Digital solutions, remote patient monitoring, and mobile clinics allow today’s healthcare providers to make patient care more cost-effective and accessible by providing medical services to those who can’t afford them due to geographical, financial, or personal barriers. Broadband technology can be an obstacle to telehealth adoption in rural areas. In the US, 63% of rural regions now have access to high-speed internet, and this percentage is growing. Additionally, 71% of people in rural areas have smartphones that let them connect to a telehealth platform via an app and mobile networks and become better educated on primary healthcare services. 

Telehealth also mitigates staff shortages by letting hospitals hire medical specialists (with permission to practice outside of their state) to deliver care remotely. 

Physicians responded positively to telehealth implementation

However, many patients don’t know how to use technology to get healthcare information or reach their physician. It’s essential to create healthcare services that include supporting materials, resources, and programs and educate staff on how to teach and help patients so every patient can get quality medical care. 

Download this checklist with 9 helpful tips on preparing patients for telehealth and making their first experience with telemedicine successful.

#3 Focus on employee engagement

Employee engagement affects the patient’s overall experience. Interactions with nurses, administrative staff, and front desk staff may shape a patient’s perception of the entire facility. A report by the National Library of Medicine shows that employees with high satisfaction/engagement with their job tend to give high patient satisfaction scores. For example, over the course of two years, higher nurses' satisfaction with their work led to an 87% decrease in patient infection rate, according to data from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.

Employees who are satisfied with their job, compassionate, helpful, and seek to reach the best patient health outcomes earn higher patient trust and perform better. Engaged clinic employees:

  • take initiative in every task
  • understand facility goals and values
  • are confident when approaching new responsibilities and tasks

Since employee engagement is vital to the successful growth of a healthcare facility, what are some tips for improving employee engagement?

  1. Create a succession plan for each employee.
  2. Acknowledge high-performing staff members and implement a reward system.
  3. Offer continuous education and career development opportunities.
  4. Provide regular feedback.
  5. Network with your employees to create a family-like facility culture.
  6. Ensure your staff understands and values your facility’s goals and wants to achieve the best results.

#4 Track patient satisfaction

You can measure patient satisfaction in various ways, such as by:

  • directly asking patients to evaluate your healthcare services
  • sending questionnaires
  • discussing patients’ thoughts during follow-up appointments

However, the most practical way to track patient satisfaction is to send automated and customizable feedback forms that let patients evaluate and rate your facility. Collecting feedback helps close the gap between how clinicians see their healthcare services and the quality of these services from the patient’s perspective.

Clinicians can use this relevant data to: 

  • raise the quality of healthcare services
  • prevent potential human mistakes
  • monitor the patient satisfaction rate
  • become more patient-oriented
  • test changes in healthcare services 
  • make well-informed decisions about improvements

Look at how collecting patient feedback can improve patient experience and care at scale.

#5 Use telemedicine

Telemedicine allows physicians to deliver care to a large number of patients. According to the 2021 NCHS survey, the percentage of adults who used telemedicine increased from 29.4% among adults aged 18–29 and from 43.3% among people aged 65 and over. Many people can benefit from video appointments that allow them to stay at home, preventing potential illnesses due to infection risk. Patients can also use online appointments for regular and annual check-ups to maintain good physical and mental health. Patients can also use online appointments for regular and annual check-ups to maintain good physical and mental health. 

By adopting telehealth technology, you can extend the capacity of your healthcare providers and medical staff, tackle staff shortages, and automate your facility’s workflow, reducing administrative burden and paperwork. 

Consider clinic management software like ExpertBox to efficiently manage your schedule, let patients book appointments in one click, and securely interact with patients via video calls, chat, and a patient portal. 

#6 Invest in modern technology and equipment

Technology is a catalyst for improved patient care. Electronic health records (EHRs) allow for secure collection, sharing, and storage of medical data. This assures continuous patient care and gives physicians constant access to up-to-date information. Providers can be sure their decisions regarding patients’ treatments and medications match patients’ needs and specific health conditions, such as allergies or high blood pressure.

If you use clinic software like ExpertBox, you can send automated reminders and other notifications to your patients ensuring their medical adherence. With reminders, patients will be less likely to miss their appointment or forget a scheduled examination.

Another way technology can improve patient care is through modern equipment and diagnostic systems. With AI, robotics, and healthcare imaging equipment, hospitals can provide quick testing and diagnose patients within a shorter amount of time.

Technology automation also helps hospitals comply with industry regulations and guarantee patient safety and information security. With progressive technology, you can securely work with electronic health records, protect your hospital’s systems from security threats and cyber attacks, train your personnel on adopting security standards, and run regular security assessments. 

In this article, you can explore how technology in healthcare helps clinics exceed their medical delivery goals, improve patient education, and decrease medical errors.

#7 Train your staff

You should fill the gaps in your medical staff’s knowledge and technical expertise using various training methods and programs, such as webinars, interactive online sessions, and offline one-day training. You can also launch dedicated training programs for specific employees, such as nurses or facility administrators.

#8 Educate patients about their health

Physicians should help patients become more proactive in their own healthcare. Consider what information you can deliver to patients to raise their medical literacy and awareness and how you will provide it. Quality education improves patient care, health, and well-being, whether you help a new mother learn about her postpartum mood disorder or provide information on living with their condition to a patient with a chronic illness.

#9 Reduce medical errors with data-based decision-making

Real-time data provides insights that allow hospitals to improve clinical services, save costs, and boost medical staff performance. Using the right data analytics tools and clinic management software, healthcare providers can make data-driven and evidence-based decisions to minimize the number of medical errors and effectively plan future healthcare services.

As a result, your facility can improve clinical triage and financial capacity and provide more accurate patient care and diagnoses minimizing the risk to patients’ health.

Summing up

Improving patient care is a continuous process that requires constant physician involvement. In order to make a substantial difference in patient care, you need to rely on sophisticated technology that will help you improve each aspect of patient treatment and empower your medical teams.

Try ExpertBox clinic management software to switch to patient-centered healthcare, reduce administrative burden, and streamline your healthcare business.

  • Let's look at what can lead to medical errors in clinics:

    1. Communication issues
    2. Poor medical data flow
    3. Human errors
    4. Patient-related mistakes
    5. Lack of quality education
    6. Staffing shortages
    7. Absence of efficient policies and regulations
    8. Technical issues
  • If you want to improve patient care and make it more coordinated, higher quality, and more accessible, read on to figure out how you can do this quickly and efficiently by:

    • Switching to a patient-oriented approach
    • Improving access to healthcare
    • Focusing on employee engagement
    • Tracking patient satisfaction
    • Using telemedicine
    • Investing in modern technology and equipment
    • Training your staff
    • Educating patients about their health
    • Reducing medical errors with data-based decision-making
  • Patient-centered care empowers patients to be involved in their own healthcare and actively participate in healthcare decision-making. To take a patient-oriented approach, physicians and other medical staff need to build more effective relationships with patients, show empathy, be compassionate, and consider each patient’s specific personality type and needs.

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