When we use the term ‘patient care’, it refers to more than just physical treatment. Patient care can be observed as the overall experience of a patient from the moment the connection is established till the patient is optimally treated to good health and follow up. The healthcare industry is now increasingly focusing their attention to adapt and ensure a holistic restoration of the individual’s well-being. Doing so builds and strengthens trust and increases customer satisfaction manifold. Let’s examine some salient points to improve patient care:
1. Patient-Centred Model: ‘The patient takes the driver’s seat’
A tailor-made approach where the industry dictates the care is already a thing of the past. How can the patient stay rest assured if they are to only comply and not collaborate? Building trust and providing maximum satisfaction to the patient is the very essence of a patient-centred model. Switching from ‘treating the body’ approach to ‘treating the person’ enhances the patient’s overall experience. While the healthcare providers provide the fuel, the patient is in the driver’s seat in order to steer and customise their healthcare plan that suits their individual needs. This approach is a win-win ideal hands down towards strengthening bonds and building trust in the long-run. Shifting from treatment centralisation to a coordinated and collaborative two-way exchange will prove to be a game changing feat.
2. Record-keeping, monitoring & following up:
Without data and its management, the effectiveness of a treatment cannot be ascertained. Maintaining records and monitoring them periodically enables healthcare providers to assess the efficacy, promptness and the extent of progress from beginning to end. Patient analytics serve as a crucial tool to study the patient’s unique requirements and in turn regulate decision-making. Furthermore, following up with patients promotes both encouragement and treatment and also prevents loopholes in communication and individual care. However, these data can contain sensitive information which needs to be carefully contained so as to avoid privacy and cyber security issues.
3. Adopting better, fast, latest technology: Telemedicine & Telehealth
When it comes to providing top-notch healthcare services, the role of technology cannot be emphasised enough. With information travelling faster than ever and numerous technological developments, there’s an inevitable desire for simpler, faster and more-effective treatment alternatives. In order to satiate this demand, healthcare providers must be in tune with the most effective and updated measures. For example – telemedicine & telehealth that provide clinical and non-clinical services to patients from the comfort of their homes. Interactions over video-conference and employing other cost-effective measures can also reduce the gaps and establish stronger connections.
4. Special training for personnel: ‘Personnel Powerplay’
What bridges the gap between healthcare and patient is the role of personnel. It is important to note that the quality of personnel defines the success or failure of a system. Effective technology and skilled training must go hand in hand. For a systematic and proactive connection, personnel must be adequately and appropriately trained to cater to the needs of the patients. In order to provide the kind of care that is in sync with the changing needs and demands, imparting in-depth and quality education to healthcare professionals is the way forward. Patients can also tend to feel neglected and disconnected especially during emergencies and contingencies. Therefore, training care-givers towards a more empathetic patient experience is the key. Practical demonstrations, quality first aid, emotional and psychological support and departmentalisation are few important measures.
5. Encouraging routine check-ups: More ‘care’ to healthcare:
An essential ingredient in ensuring the overall wellness of an individual is attaching more ‘care’ to healthcare. This is made possible by means of routine check-ups to promote the individual’s awareness around good health and healthy lifestyles. People tend to be selective about the healthcare provider they choose in the fear of being misdiagnosed and avoiding unnecessary hassle. Therefore, medical malpractices must be strongly watched out for and ethical values of treatment transparency must be advocated. Regular check-ups are also an important means to empower the patient and involve them in their healthcare plan leading to stronger efficacy of patient experience. Free workshops can also be organised to promote preventive care at home. Genuine empathy and attention towards patient care induces loyalty and reliability leading to long-term connections.
6. Creating a comprehensive digital presence:
With the coining of terms like ‘digital health’, a digital presence becomes indispensable. In today’s post covid world, when every imaginable service has made its way online, an absence of a comprehensive digital presence of healthcare services can be a major weigh down. Many brands have expanded their networks and reach exponentially, courtesy their powerful digital influence. Through digital advertising and marketing a brand can communicate about offering value-added services and care. In fact, it is now one of the foremost means to create connections with new patients. A comprehensive digital presence will support comprehensive digital care. Hence, considerable thought and planning should back this strategy.
7. Attending relevant industry meets & CMEs for better connections:
Growth and expansion of services happen when the healthcare providers are in tune with the prevailing market environment. Continued medical education (CME) and other industry meets not only promote networking but are exclusive platforms for a productive exchange of significant information and technology. Learning from others’ experiences and diverse approaches can help healthcare providers structure their own care-design to tap maximum results and benefits. Such meet-ups also induce fresh perspectives and greater responsibility.
The way forward:
Identifying the challenges and redesigning healthcare models in order to be in rhythm with the latest developments is the need of the hour. The strong hold of digitalisation and explosion of information has improved accessibility to compare choices and impacted behaviours of patients. The individual’s need to get faster, cost-effective and reliable services has now come to fore. Needless to say, that is all the more reason for healthcare to evolve into a patient-oriented model where the individual’s needs are addressed and respected.
Manika Dhupar is a Content Specialist at WeYou Partners, and an entrepreneur.