As a patient, when visiting the hospital, you expect that medical professionals are capable of handling your issue. Moreover, you expect a clean facility and equipment. But what if the staff isn’t available during emergencies or isn’t qualified enough to handle complex situations?
When patients are treated by qualified medical professionals and receive care at well-equipped facilities, they have access to numerous benefits. These include better health outcomes and decreased readmissions.
Quality healthcare is measured in six domains; patient-centered care, efficiency, effectiveness, safety, equitability, and timeliness. Ensuring that every aspect of quality healthcare is a full-time job. If a healthcare facility offers poor-quality care, improving it is necessary.
Why? Let’s discuss it in detail.
Why does quality improvement in Healthcare matter?
Improving the quality of care reduces the care fragmentation of patients by offering several advantages. These include providing access to a network of trusted medical professionals, ensuring effective referrals, and promoting smooth transitions between healthcare providers.
We often come across healthcare facilities following the same old patterns of providing patient care. These patterns include relying on memory, using pen-paper, or occasionally running the extra mile to improve the quality of patient care.
However, there is a need to change the approach to develop reliable, cost-effective, and sustained quality improvement in the healthcare system.
Part of ensuring quality healthcare is educating the public about the best healthcare practices to prevent rising health-related issues. So, to help improve healthcare quality, you’ll need higher education. To learn about the increasing demands of health-related services and improve a stagnant healthcare system, an MsPH degree would be instrumental in overcoming common challenges a healthcare institution faces.
Besides expanding your knowledge, there are several strategies that you can implement to improve the quality of healthcare.
Ways to improve the quality of healthcare
You can implement several strategies to improve the quality of healthcare. A few of those are mentioned as follows.
1. Prioritize Patient Safety
Patient safety is a top priority for healthcare providers and facilities. Healthcare systems must make every effort to prevent errors, rectify their mistakes and, most importantly, create a safe environment for patients. Prioritizing patient safety yields high standards of clinical care.
For instance, safeguarding against misdiagnosis ensures that patients are treated for their underlying medical conditions. Besides that, the improved hospital discharge procedures not only improve care for patients but also helps lower hospital readmission rates.
Creating a safe patient experience is more than just making the patient satisfied. Ensuring that patients do not experience preventable consequences is equally essential.
For example, nurses must be vigilant in responding to nurse calls, whereas clinicians must circulate the rooms to oversee patients. In addition, healthcare professionals must adhere to procedure protocols, a critical aspect of ensuring quality patient care.
2. Increase Patient Engagement
Patient-centered strategies like patient engagement must be improved to increase positive healthcare outcomes. There are a few ways patient engagement leads to better health outcomes. What are those? Let’s find out
Monitoring the patient’s feedback offers insight into the areas that need improvement. Healthcare providers can improve medical practices and patient care outcomes with available data obtained through feedback forms.
Feedback is an essential source of information that enables healthcare facilities to enhance efficiency and quality of care.
Involving the patient’s family during consultations doesn’t just make medical professionals patient-friendly providers and helps increase patient compliance and, ultimately, better healthcare outcomes. Family involvement in decision-making is essential for optimal health outcomes like reduced pain, discomfort and a physical and emotional recovery rate.
3. Data Analytics
Before making any changes in the healthcare system, healthcare facilities must first analyze the areas that require an upgrade using data analytics and take appropriate action. Data analytics helps identify trends and calculates statistics from electronic health records and other data sources to determine the area for improvement.
As per Grand View Research, the healthcare analytics market is expected to grow 7.5% up till 2027. The expected growth is due to the promising results of data analytics. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, data analytics helps determine the cost of that apple.
Data analytics tools have become integral to the healthcare system. They streamline operations like data collection and patient scheduling. Moreover, data analysis helps make accurate predictions based on reliable data. Data analytics aims to reduce medical expenditure without compromising the quality of care.
4. Set Realistic Goals
One of the many reasons healthcare facilities are unable to deliver results is due to unrealistic goals. Results are only produced when small actionable steps are taken. That said, based on the findings from data analytics, healthcare facilities can work on improvements by setting measurable and achievable goals.
The key to setting goals is that they must be precise and quantitative. Hospitals or clinics must prevent the overuse of ineffective or ineffective care when it comes to enhancing care effectiveness. If healthcare facilities find themselves lost, a few strategies can be implemented to improve any six domains.
Regarding patient-centered care, honoring the individual’s choice is one of the key aspects of improving care outcomes. Moreover, bridging the ethnic and cultural gap, reducing waste, and ensuring patient safety during care delivery are strategies that work.
Within an organization, collaboration has numerous benefits, from problem-solving to innovative ideas and learning. In addition to all these benefits, collaboration also opens doors to unforeseen opportunities.
However, before healthcare facilities collaborate, they must research and learn how other organizations in the industry, in a particular area the hospital wants to improve.
Go as far as reaching out to them to see if an organization allows access to quality improvement programs. Attending conferences, reviewing the literature, and keeping an eye on an organization’s success are a few ways healthcare facilities can reach out to the organization.
Collaboration with such organizations offers healthcare facilities transparency in performance, helps them develop new solutions, and changes age-old practices. In addition to facilitating improvement in areas that underperformed, collaborations enable hospitals to respond better during crises.
Besides organizational collaboration, staff members must form a balanced team to improve healthcare quality. The team includes a senior leader, a clinical expert, and a project manager to keep day-to-day tasks on track.
As technology makes waves, medical science isn’t far behind in advances. However, sadly when it comes to addressing patient needs, improving system efficiency and quality of care, healthcare facilities often perform far below average levels.
Quality healthcare is essential because technological advancements won’t do any good if the patient remains unsatisfied. Healthcare facilities must strive to implement strategies to deliver quality patient care.
A few of these strategies include prioritizing patient safety, improving patient engagement, and setting realistic goals to achieve results.