Patients come to the hospital in vulnerable situations. They are scared and uncertain about their health. They cannot fathom getting suboptimal care that deteriorates their health condition further. Therefore, the responsibility lies in the hospital administration and care providers to ensure that all processes, structures, designs, and services have one common goal to fulfill—to provide the best in patient care to their patients. This blog can be useful for all hospitals striving to improve their in-patient services. Below are some ways to do that.
1. Reduce inefficient workflows and staff burden
Medical professionals provide the best care to their patients. Talk to any aspiring healthcare professional, and you will know their goals of being polite and empathetic to their patients. But things do not happen according to their plan once they are in the hospital. Inefficient workflows and overworking make the hospital staff disgruntled and rude towards their patients. Though such behavior is never recommended or accepted, understanding the causes behind such happenings can help the management solve the issue. Management must streamline the hospital’s workflow. Management needs to ensure that the staff does not have more duties on their plate than they can manage. Also, reducing redundancies and unnecessary processes saves the time and energy of the team, who can focus more on their job.
2. Qualified management
Having qualified management and an efficient administrative team is essential for every hospital aspiring to provide better patient care. Administrative personnel must have related hospital management qualifications such as an MHA (Master’s in health administration) degree to design the most effective patient care plans, processes, and systems. If in a hospital, most administrative personnel do not have such a degree, these individuals must be encouraged to enroll in online MHA programs to get the confidence and strategic insight to make critical decisions about improving patient care quality.
3. Provide a holistic picture to the patients about their health
Patients in the hospital are often examined by many specialists, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, etc. As a result, patients have no clue about their health and why they are in the hospital. This confusion increases their uncertainty, leaving them with their puzzles to solve. Keeping patients confused reduces patient trust in the medical system and its processes.
Family members also become more anxious about their patient’s condition. Therefore, always provide a holistic picture to your patients, and communicate with them through every step of their treatment. Aspects that the staff needs to communicate with the patient and their family include; the results of the diagnosis, confirmation of the disease, test reports, and so on. You must also share why so many medical tests and screenings are being performed, the root cause of the illness, treatment options, etc.
4. Encourage patients to put in effort for an early discharge
No one comes to a hospital because they want to. Therefore, most patients are ready to get discharged as soon as possible. However, if the patients don’t know what they can do to get an early discharge, they will have to wait for the doctor until the next day when they come for their routine rounds. This unnecessary wait delays the processes, wasting time.
Instead, the hospital’s staff must communicate to the patients what they must do to go home early. These steps may include taking their medications on time, cooperating with the nursing staff, etc. Communicating daily and weekly goals with the patients make them a part of the treatment process.
5. Encourage nurses to spend more time with patients
Nurses are in the hospital to provide clinical care to their patients. But it does not happen all the time. A study conducted in the UK displayed that out of an 8.5 hours shift, nurses spend approximately 3.1 hours with patients. The rest of the time, they are engaged with activities unrelated to direct clinical care. This way, their energy dispenses on tasks that don’t improve patient care. They often spend their time doing things like Physiotherapy, record keeping, billing, insurance, cleaning, inventory management, etc.
As nurses spend more time on these activities, they are left with less time to care for their patients. Ideally, nurses must be free from all the roles not relevant to patient care. They must be encouraged to spend time with their patients, listen to their grievances, and improve patient care.
6. Reduce staff shortage
Staff shortage is the biggest impediment to providing better in-patient care. Often hospitals try to work with the minimum staff to save money on staff salaries. But they don’t realize that staff shortage can be very costly when overburdened staff fails to provide high-quality patient care. Hospitals must hire enough staff to ensure that staff is not burdened nor they are doing the work of more than one individual.
7. Helping patients care for themselves
A hospital’s duty does not end with curing the patients and sending them home. They must educate their patients to ensure they can care for themselves after discharge. The care provided in the hospital should be such that patients seldom need to visit the hospital. The staff must educate patients about their illness, factors that can make it rebound, the importance of self-care, and ways to prevent diseases. Empowered and well-educated patients help their care providers in treatment plan implementation. As a result, hospitals get better patient outcomes and more satisfied patients.
Hospitals get many ways to improve their in-patient care service. Those mentioned above are some of the ways to do so. Hospitals can provide better in-patient care by empowering patients, offering them grievance redressal mechanisms, and providing patients with clear information about their diagnosis and disease. Hospitals can create long-lasting experiences for their patients by adopting the philosophy of providing patient-centered care and leveraging technology.
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