Healthcare facilities have an essential duty: to ensure that every patient that comes in is safe and sound. Their responsibility is also to ensure that patients leave with complete recovery and show no signs of relapsing any time soon. However, hospitals look after many patients every day, and achieving these objectives can become challenging.
Since such a large population needs attention, there needs to be a system that ensures minimal negligence and loss of lives and maximum positive results. It is also equally important to note that the healthcare sector is intense and pressurized. There is a short window of opportunity for doctors and support staff to make a difference. Therefore, to help a healthcare facility improve the quality of patient care delivery, here’s what hospitals can and should do:
Pay attention to special patients
Special patients are those who are coming in for cases that are not usual or are often sensitive. These could be patients with rare genetic diseases, aggressive cancers, and even complicated pregnancies, to name a few. The procedure of checking them and improving their health status requires special precautions.
They need more thorough physical evaluation and even more extensive lab tests. Don’t dismiss their complaints or signs of aggravation as usual. Instead, focus on what they’re telling you and pay attention to them. For example, there are cases of appendicitis during pregnancies. If this condition goes ignored, it may rapture, which may lead to the loss of the woman’s fetus. So, address such patients on a priority basis.
Continuous education is mandatory in healthcare to improve the quality of service and patient outcomes. This includes training and education for both clinical and non-clinical staff members. Fortunately, technology and the internet have made upskilling in the medical profession straightforward.
Professionals can easily manage hospital shifts with flexible distance-learning programs. So, if a hospital wants to overcome managerial and administrative shortcomings, it can pursue/sponsor staff to enrol in an online masters in healthcare management degree to upskill. Similarly, there are several online courses available for clinical staff to hone medical skills and knowledge. Continuous learning also helps to streamline communication in hospitals, which can prevent fatal errors from happening.
Don’t ignore patients
There are instances when doctors and support staff ignore a patient’s reactions to treatment or don’t take their symptoms as seriously as they should, pinning them under overreaction. While it’s true in some cases, some patients have varying levels of tolerance towards pain. For some, their fear and anxiety exaggerate what they’re feeling. It would help if you never discounted a patient’s feelings. If a patient feels pain, take the time to administer the treatment.
If a patient cannot hold steady and isn’t allergic to anaesthesia, try giving them a mild sedative after letting them know. Sometimes a patient’s reaction to one treatment option may lead to a more significant complication. In such situations, allow a patient to guide you on what they’re feeling and how often. Let that help you make a proper and educated decision. Often mindless patient neglect may lead to malpractice under patient mistreatment. Try to avoid this at all costs.
Build an online system
Telehealth is rapidly gaining popularity. It allows patients to connect with doctors and care providers over the internet from the comfort of their homes anywhere, anytime. However, not everyone may understand how to use telehealth. Therefore hospital websites need a proper system that allows patients to make their profile online and promptly access the hospital’s database. Online systems can also facilitate patients to book an appointment when the doctor is available instead of visiting the hospital or waiting in line for months to see the doctor in person. There should also be multilingual videos and educational tutorials on what some procedures look like, such as surgeries and allergy tests. It will help to remove patient anxiety and helps them prepare for their necessary evaluations.
Have a balanced team
A balanced team consists of a senior practitioner, a clinical expert, and a project manager. So if one diagnoses the patient, the other can keep an eye on the patient’s charts and symptoms to take notes on the patient’s status. A nurse can check on the patient regularly and notify the doctor in case of an emergency. The last key element personnel on the team is a project manager. A project manager ensures that hospital goals are being met that need to be achieved and helps to create a rough timeline on when the patient will recover.
Pay attention to patient safety
While a hospital may be rushing to look after a patient, you can’t bypass their safety. Patient safety includes everything from safe transportation on a gurney to preventing cross-contamination. While on a gurney, strap the patient properly. If a patient has delicate skin and in case of excessive bleeding, secure the cannula in a way it doesn’t hurt them. Don’t shake a patient or overwhelm them during their treatment.
Also, ensure the hospital floors when patients go for their walk are safe and slip-free with rubber protection to reduce friction. Ensure proper patient hygiene by providing them with a clean, sterilized room. Their bedpans need to be frequently changed, and their bandages should always be clean and dry. You can’t risk a patient contracting a new infection or getting more ill while they’re under your care.
Work with other organizations
Healthcare goes beyond hospital facilities. It is also about reaching patients in rural areas who have limited access to proper facilities. Dispatch travel nurses and work with NGOs to help marginalized patients receive treatments they need. You can provide essential medicines such as painkillers and antibiotics.
Work with DNP-trained nurses to help educate and teach people how to improve their lifestyles and look after themselves better. Organizations can also help nurses and doctors acquire the necessary resources to build clinics and remote medical camps to help patients who cannot visit a hospital.
Don’t overwork staff
One of the reasons why patients may face neglect is an overworked staff. The healthcare system cannot work their doctors to the bone. Asking them to pull extra shifts is okay sometimes. But making a habit out of it may lead to exhausted staff who cannot pay attention to fine details and endanger patients further.
Hospitals should have a balanced system where more clinical staff members are on board if there is a patient influx. There also needs to be a system to ensure that the ratio of patients to the healthcare staff is appropriate. A stable patient-to-staff ratio will ensure that doctors and nurses will be able to deliver more focused care while also squeezing in some time to rest.
Proper healthcare management is essential to ensure patient safety. It will also improve healthcare quality and ensure there are better healthcare outcomes with every turn of patients. Extra care must go into checking patients with aggressive conditions and complicated cases. Hospitals also need to invest in staff training to upskill employees with the best practices and improve communication. Provide patients with safe and hygienic conditions at all times.
The healthcare facilities should also extend beyond primary hospital care. That means hospitals should partner with organizations to help educate and take care of patients who can’t access large hospitals or expensive facilities. With these measures in place, a hospital’s facilities can significantly improve the quality of its service and provide patients with the timely care they deserve.