About the Patient
In the field of medicine, the patient is the most important person in the entire medical care system. Why do people become doctors and medical professionals? To help those in need. To perform life-saving surgeries. To treat those that are sick. The core fundamentals of patient care are as simple as they sound – keeping the patient happy, comfortable, and as well-informed as possible regarding their diagnosis, treatment, and medications administered during (and sometimes after) their hospital stay.
How important is patient care?
Patient care has a direct effect on health outcomes; that is, just as positive patient care contributes to a more positive recovery experience for the patient, the same is true on the other side. A negative experience in a hospital or medical center will contribute to a negative recovery experience, which of course, isn’t desired. The goal is to have the most favorable outcome for the patient and ensure they have a successful hospital stay or procedure (if necessary). Every patient has their own story, one unique from the next; all should be taken into consideration when treating a patient. This is what goes into delivering patient care.
Regardless of a patient’s hospital stay, the level of patient care should not waver; As all medical professionals should know, patient care not only improves the physical but mental quality of life of a person. The overall objective is achieving a high degree of patient satisfaction while having a demand for better care all around. This can contribute to positive change as well as greater public awareness.
What contributes to patient care?
Many aspects comprise patient care, with a focus on the following:
Staff/ Training: The quality of training (and results of subsequent training) is undoubtedly one of the most important features of patient care. We’ve all heard the saying, “it all starts at the top”, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Thorough training and ensuring nurses, doctors, and medical personnel are adequately educated and prepared for their jobs will certainly be reflected in their patient care. Patients want the security that they’re being taken care of by professionals who are properly prepared to deal with any issue they present with. On the flip side, the same is true; poor training, and not being sufficiently trained and prepared for the tasks at hand will undoubtedly reflect inpatient care and overall patient satisfaction as well. Patients will not return to medical facilities that they feel they haven’t been appropriately treated at. Well-trained personnel is critical to providing high-quality care and desirable outcomes both inside the medical facility and outside. This could be an important feature, for a lack of appropriate personnel is a major problem inpatient care. Adequately trained staff should be a standard and a high one at that.
Necessary and fully functioning equipment: Required equipment must be in place and properly maintained. Not only is it vital to the performance of the medical staff, but it contributes significantly to better results and overall patient gratification.
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Medical facilities must also adapt to advances in medical technology: the importance of employing newer technologies is essential to adapting to the current times; thus, improving patient care even further.
Shorter wait times: Many patients visit medical facilities with non-life-threatening injuries, such as cuts, contusions, and accidents such as broken bones, twisted ankles, and concussions. Other visitors have more critical needs, such as difficulty breathing, trauma, burns, stroke symptoms, and chest pain. These patients need to be seen as soon as possible to address the severity of their complaints. The desire for shorter wait times has fostered the development of Urgent care and other stand-alone facilities, such as 24-hour Emergency Rooms (in some states). These facilities serve in similar capacities to Emergency Rooms, are detached from hospitals, and have much shorter wait times; because let’s be honest – the last thing any of us want to do when we’re in distress is wait. Less waiting equates to higher patient satisfaction which leads to repeat visits, should they occur.
Ease of access/ communication: The patient experience should be user-friendly, from admission to discharge. Patient information should be made very clear, and the check-in/check-out process should be patient-friendly. Additionally, communication from doctors or nurses to patients and their families regarding the status of a patient should be clear and concise. Ease of access to accessibility and communication also goes into patient care.
Not only does patient care improve the quality of life of patients, but it also aids them in overcoming the natural anxieties that accompany being in a hospital and the various testing and treatments associated with a visit. Positive patient care also increases trust between healthcare professionals and patients, thus promoting a better experience overall. The patient is the drive and motive behind most of these professions, and patient care travels up to the top of the chain. Positive patient care leads to a positive reputation for the healthcare professional, which has a direct reflection on the institution they work for. This affects the facility’s status, and so forth. It is all about the patient, and patient care is paramount in a facility’s reputation and sustenance in the community and beyond.