What is the Patient Care Experience?
The patient care experience arises from patients' interactions in the healthcare system, whether within a hospital or other healthcare facility, including their interactions with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare staff.
Why Is the Patient Care Experience Important?
Patients' experience with the care and treatment they receive can be either positive or negative. The better it is, the better their treatment outcomes will be.
Not only will the patient have better outcomes, as will the facility that treats them. Furthermore, better patient experiences lead to lower admission rates and decrease how often they need to utilize the facility.
Plus, the patient experience is reflected in the surveys sent out to patients following services, and those results contribute to a facility's overall grade or ranking.
How to Prioritize the Patient Care Experience in Your Hospital
Many variables can improve the patient care experience in hospitals and healthcare facilities, for example:
- Maximizing efficiency to decrease patient wait times. This includes the initiation of patient care before they are admitted to effective and timely discharge when their treatment has been completed.
- Improve communication focused on empathy with patients and their families.
- Listen to patients objectively, without interruptions, and show active listening at all times of care.
- Ensure the patient is aware of the treatment and agrees with the plan.
- Inform and educate the patient about his or her disease and the length of time he or she will need treatment.
- To seek the patients' comfort at all times, taking care of all possible details.
- Look out for the wellness of the staff so that they can attend to the patients in the best possible way.
It is important to note that the number of healthcare personnel attending to patients is, without a doubt, the key to the functioning of the services and a positive patient care experience. That is, if there is a shortage of nurses, as has been happening in most hospitals lately, it will be challenging to achieve reasonable patient satisfaction, jeopardizing their health and safety and those of the healthcare staff.
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What is Patient-Centered Care?
Patient-centered care is care focused on the individual patient having his or her healthcare needs met while empowering the patient to become a significant participant in his or her care and treatment. Through patient-centered care, evidence of improved disease outcomes has been found, as the patient is aware of why they should follow specific treatments and by agreeing to participate actively as part of the multidisciplinary team treating them.
To achieve better outcomes, healthcare providers must come together as a team and pool their communication skills to be as open and concrete as possible when communicating with patients so that patients have a good understanding of what they need to do.
Generally, there are many principles associated with patient-centered care. For each area of healthcare, there will be specific rules and language that the patient can understand, and each case will be different. Still, it has been shown that life changes in chronic diseases, for example, are more likely to be achieved by involving the patient in their treatment. That care becomes more cost-effective while patient satisfaction increases considerably.
How to Engage Patients in Their Care?
Six components to help patients become engaged in their care:
1. Explaining and exploring the illness with the patient, rather than doing it separately and providing treatment without the patient fully understanding what is happening.
2. Understand the person as a whole, not just as a disease. We seek to gain more information from the patient through open questions, active listening, and open-mindedness at all times, and in this way, seek more holistic treatments.
3. Find a space where the staff can meet and interact with the family.
4. Emphasize prevention and health promotion for all diseases and all patients.
5. Provide patients with information on how to control different diseases.
6. Improve the relationship of health personnel with the patient, avoiding authoritarian approaches that look for culprits and single treatments.
Patient-Centered Care Enhances the Patient Experience
As can be seen, patient-centered care is tremendously important to implement in more healthcare institutions. However, there can be no shortage of trained healthcare personnel for this to happen. Too many shortages and understaffing regularly stress healthcare staff, who are always looking to get tasks done as quickly as possible, not always focusing on what is best for the patient. Having enough trained staff around the clock makes a different approach to medicine possible.
To support hospitals and healthcare facilities, Nursa has developed an application that allows you to connect with nurses looking for jobs to fill gaps in the schedule that can appear when staffing levels are low. This provides a positive patient care experience, including the fact that the app's staff is experienced in quality care and quickly accommodating new situations.