As the healthcare industry grows and changes, so do the needs of patients and their families. Ever since the covid-19 pandemic ravaged the healthcare sector, healthcare managers have considered micro and macro-level changes to improve and ensure the quality of care.
People are increasingly concerned about healthcare quality in hospitals as healthcare costs rise and misdiagnoses and medical errors become more prevalent. Ensuring high-quality healthcare is essential to maintaining a successful treatment rate.
Health care facilities can improve the quality of care in many ways. It can be improved by making Electronic health records accessible to all care providers and patients and strictly following SOPs and disinfection protocols. By being determined to their service and avoiding negligence, physicians and nurses can significantly increase the quality of care.
The primary care providers play a major role in determining the quality of healthcare in a facility. As they are directly in contact with a patient, they can better understand the requirements for good quality care.
Here are a few ways incorporating which can increase the quality of care:
Patient safety comes first and foremost. It can never be neglected. Certain drugs and equipment – whose exposure can cause harm- should be placed in an isolated area. Thus, it keeps all the patients and staff safe from their risks.
Diagnostic machines such as MRI equipment are always placed in a separate area because of their strong static magnetic field, disrupting other magnetic equipment or medical devices. High alert medications such as opiates and narcotics are always to be put in a restricted and selectively accessible area.
Data collection and analysis of patient outcomes
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” famed management guru Peter Drucker said. Before you can start making changes in health care, you must first understand what chances for improvement exist and then setup baseline results. You should go through statistics, learn about your patient population and your organizational operations, and identify room for improvement.
Tracking patient wellness and quality of care in your facility should be as important as tracking billing information. Use Electronic Health Records to have a more patient-centric approach. It is also possible to check and ensure the quality of wellness through patient satisfaction surveys and treatment outcome statistics.
Achieving quality healthcare is not a solo endeavor; it requires teamwork. Health care facilities should ensure a diverse team of employees.
Managers must ensure that every team member should contribute to balance by bringing new skills to the table. According to the IHI, an effective team comprises three levels of skilled members.
- Clinical leaders are senior leaders with the experience and authority to implement plans to improve care quality. They must also be prepared to handle any issues arising from such implementations.
- Technical experts are people with the knowledge to make sound clinical judgments. They can also assist in providing knowledge on the technicality of many methods and tools. They can also assist in data collection and analysis.
- Project Managers ensure test execution and data collecting oversight. This individual mustn’t understand the system’s specifics and the different consequences of making changes to the system.
Establish a culture of quality from the ground
In many cases, quality of care starts with the attitudes and mindsets of the staff members on the hospital’s “ground floor”—those who interact most directly with patients. Staff members like nurses, technicians, and support personnel must commit to high-quality care beyond what is required. This can be a challenge, particularly in hospitals where the culture is “getting by” rather than “staying ahead.” In such institutions, staff members may feel that the pressure of their jobs precludes them from taking time to care for patients. Hospitals can help encourage a quality culture by regularly reviewing incidents and near-misses related to patient care. – Assessing how the culture of the hospital can support quality. – Creating an environment where staff members feel free to raise concerns. – Holding staff members accountable for meeting expectations related to quality.
Get nurse input on ways to improve care
Nurses are the people in hospitals who interact most closely with patients, which strengthens nurse-patient relationships. They have an excellent perspective on how to improve the quality of care that patients receive. Hospitals can improve the quality of care delivered by: – Creating an open environment where nurses can report quality-related concerns. – Gathering input from nurses on ways to improve the way tests and treatments are administered. – Specifically seeking input from nurses on improving quality in each hospital area. – Actively listening to and actively responding to the nurses’ concerns. – Creating policies and programs to help nurses manage their workloads.
Ensure staff is well trained and highly qualified
The quality of care delivered by a hospital is greatly influenced by the qualifications of staff members on every level. For instance, doctors and nurses who are not well-trained may misinterpret test results and make treatment recommendations that are not appropriate. A high patient turnover rate among staff members, such as nurses and technicians, indicates that the hospital may have trouble keeping qualified and well-trained people.
Hospitals can improve the quality of patient care delivered by:
- Regularly testing and re-testing the knowledge and skills of staff members, the use of technology allows staff members to access and test their skills remotely.
- Providing continuous training and refresher courses.
Focus on prevention, not just treatment
Some hospitals focus primarily on treating diseases and injuries. Others focus on prevention, reducing the likelihood that diseases will occur in the first place. Hospitals that focus on prevention can improve the quality of care delivered by: – Focusing on disease prevention through tests, medications, and other means. – Working with the community to prevent diseases and injuries before they occur. – Training staff members to focus on prevention when they provide care.
Quality of care is an essential part of the patient experience. A high level of quality in hospitals is essential to the well-being of patients and their families. The seven ways to improve the quality of care outlined in this article can help hospitals address common issues affecting patient experience. By recognizing areas for improvement and taking steps to address them, hospitals can provide better care for patients in need.