Thursday, 30 June 2016

Healthcare moving from technology-enabled diagnosis and treatment to positive patient experience



The industrial economy where the focus stopped with the ‘product’ has slowly shifted to service economy, where the focus extends to the ‘customer experience’ of that product. This change has started its emergence in health sector too, where, the patient experience and satisfaction are considered central in determining the quality of the medical care imparted. The field of medical science passing through doctor centric, hospital centric and disease centric has today reached the threshold of being patient centric.

A patient centric strategy has pushed the leading health care organizations to make the shift from an episodic care to an extended and continual engagement with patients. The use of patient portals and access to electronic record leads to an increase in communication between the hospitals and patients. Health organisations are today increasingly looking at population health management, as a part of this continuous engagement. Similarly, health care delivery models need to change to reflect the patient centric care.
Most health care organizations are realizing that patient-centred care improves patient experience and creates value for services. When administrators, care providers, technology, patients and families work in sync, the quality and safety of health care rise, costs decrease and satisfaction increases. All this directly affect the boosting of patient care experience. A domino effect, it then positively affect business demographics and market share.
Key strategies from organizations working on patient-centred care include :
  • Policy makers and regulators should include patient-centred care as a dimension of quality in their business strategy and policy documentations.
  • Standardised set of items in patient survey tools will enable the comparison of patient experience data in key healthcare settings.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for the regular collection and reporting of patient care experience data through quantitative as well as qualitative sources. Patient surveys is an important aspect to get the feel of patient experience.
  • Health service action plans for quality improvement, along with clinical and operational data should also take into account the feedback about patient care experience.
  • Positive patient experience revolves around the relationship between health providers and their patients. The relationship between a patient and his/her doctor greatly determines both treatment outcomes and a patient’s satisfaction.
  • Involve patients, families and carers, in the development of quality improvement policies, patient safety initiatives and healthcare design.
  • Implement training strategies focussed on building the capacity of all staff to support patient-centred care.
  • Integrate accountability for the care experience of patients into staff performance review processes.
  • Foster a culture of learning within the organisation of learning from successes and failures, including tragic events, to promote patient-centred care.
    Patient experience is woven into the healthcare scenario today, more than it ever has. In this new era of health reforms, organisations will have to consider the patient as central to their core strategy and take patient engagement to a whole new level for their successful operation. Focus on patient feedback along with giving them continual care will be essential to monitor and improve the health of the people. The shift from an era of treating diseases to engaging with patients, is essential for not just the successful operation of health care facilities but also for wellness, prevention, better clinical outcomes and helping the population maintain a healthy life.