Patient-centered care is key to a healthcare organization’s success. However, the complexity of the organization and many procedures that have to be followed can make this difficult, while making changes to better improve the experience of the patient is harder yet. In this piece, we’re going to give you four practical ways healthcare administrators can improve the quality of patient centered care.
Focus on Value
Don’t cut costs when it cuts into the quality of care. Focus on the value provided to patients. When determining where to cut costs, focus on the quality of outcome achieved per unit of cost spent. If something isn’t really helping patients, then you can consider cutting it. That means determining what procedures meet patient needs at a relatively low cost, not determining which procedures are profitable because they’re well reimbursed by insurers.
Make Sure Everyone Understands Their Role
One of the biggest challenges in delivering patient centered care is staff who think it is up to someone else. Then it doesn’t get done. Administrators should ensure that staff understand their roles and responsibilities. Part of that includes always treating patients with courtesy and respect and meeting their needs, as long as those needs can be met by the person they’re dealing with. Front desk staff shouldn’t pass something off to floor nurses when the task would be part of the front desk employee’s job.
Promote Process Improvement
Improvements in healthcare tend to focus on new medicine, new devices and new technology. However, it is process improvements that can yield the greatest improvements in quality of care and cost reductions. For example, streamlining processes for discharging patients could greatly reduce administrative costs. Evaluating how you run operating rooms could eliminate wasted time, allowing you to serve more patients in a day without giving up quality of care.
Engagement Is Critical
One of the facts that transpired from a recent Women Business summit on leadership in healthcare was the importance of engagement in the workforce and its effects on productivity. As a matter of fact, the total costs related to reduced productivity due to disengagement were estimated to be around $400 billion.
Be visible to your staff, so that they feel secure and supported. Care about them as people. Be honest in your communications, since this fosters trust and respect. And invest in your people, cultivating them, so that they feel cared about and see a future with the organization.
One of the best ways to do this is through corporate mentoring. Mentoring can revitalize your best performers by re-engaging them. Mentoring across business divisions and departments opens up communications and increases trust in an increasingly virtual work environment. Mentoring is an excellent way to cultivate specific individuals and prepare them for increased responsibility. All of this explains why roughly a quarter of all companies have peer mentoring programs now, up from around 5% in 2007.
Patient-centered care is better for patients, and it is essential to the success of your healthcare organization. Making changes to facilitate better patient-centered care could result in cost savings and a better workplace for your employees, too.