There have been significant changes in healthcare over the past decade, and anyone in healthcare will confirm that patient care has taken center stage when it comes to offering quality healthcare. Does that mean that the true meaning of patient care is lost in rhetoric?
No. The ever increasing demand for healthcare has often caused healthcare providers to lose sight of the patient behind the condition they are treating. It is due to this reason that patient care is important. It helps caregivers refocus on the crucial aspect of care, in turn fulfilling their patient’s needs beyond their condition or disability.
What Does Excellence in Patient Care Mean?
Offering excellent healthcare means caring for the patient beyond their ailment and tailoring healthcare services to suit their wants and needs. Patient care is about respecting that patients have their views on what is best for their condition and that they have their priorities and values in life.
Healthcare professionals need to get to know their patients as people and actively involve them in adjusting their care-related decisions. No one likes having decisions made on their behalf. It makes patients feel less human and more objects or tasks. Excellence in patient care means putting the patient at the heart of their care. Healthcare services need to adjust their services to the preferences and expectations, and not the other way around.
This change in strategy enables patients to retain their dignity and autonomy during an already challenging period. Rather than leaving patients feeling hindered by their disability, excellent patient care helps them live a fulfilling life.
Key Elements in Patient Care Excellence
Patient care encouraged active collaboration and shared decision making between caregivers, the patient, and the family, making it easy to manage a comprehensive customized service care plan. Most definitions of excellence in patient care have several similar key elements that impact the way the healthcare systems are designed and managed:
- Care offered is collaborative, coordinated, and accessible. Excellent patient care is provided at the right time and in the right place.
- The healthcare provider’s mission, vision, leadership, values and quality improvement are focused on patient care goals.
- Patient care focuses on the patient’s physical comfort as well as their emotional well-being.
- The patient’s family preferences, cultural values, preferences, and socioeconomic conditions are respected.
- The patient, their families, are considered as part of the health care team and often play a major role at the patient and system level.
- All information is shared timely so that the patient, as well as their family members, can come up with well-informed decisions.
- The presence of family members in the care setting is encouraged and facilitated.
Why Is Patient Care Important?
For starters, patient care helps patients receive appropriate care and feel well catered for as a human being. It also brings in a lot of benefits for both the patient and the healthcare provider overall.
Patients treated as individuals
When it comes to healing, every patient is different. Depending on the patient, several conditions contribute to the current condition. Excellence in patient care means creating individualized healthcare plans for patients instead of implementing the conventional one-size fits all.
Patient Satisfaction Is Paramount
In the modern world, everyone’s opinion is important, meaning when a patient is unhappy, they have a right to complain about services on any platform they see fit. It can have a tremendous impact on the health care institution, positive or negative. Just like a bad restaurant experience, a patient’s bad experience at a healthcare facility will likely get to close friends and family online. Likewise, when someone receives poor medical care, they are likely to vent online.
Referrals are Priceless
Quality care will always bring patient referrals. Patients who are treated well will share their experiences with friends and family. A leading surgeon from one of the nation’s premier orthopedic facilities confesses that it gives them great joy every time they find out they have a 98 percent patient satisfaction rate, and more than 80 percent of their patients send them referrals.
When it comes to modern healthcare, health providers must understand why they got into the industry – to help people. While it’s easy to become numb and forget the importance of offering excellent patient care, great healthcare is all about empowering them so that they are intimately involved in their healing process.