As healthcare professionals, our primary goal is to provide the highest level of care to our patients. However, with increasing pressure from regulations, financial constraints, and administrative tasks, it can be easy to forget the needs of the individual patient. It is essential to remember that every patient is unique and has specific needs, and it is our duty as healthcare providers to educate, inform, and support them in the best way possible.
In this blog post, you’ll find out about practical ways that healthcare providers can put their patients first and improve the overall patient experience.
Healthcare providers have their work cut out for them. There’s running the healthcare facility itself, which includes investing in the best medical equipment and provisions. There’s also the administrative duties, such as keeping accurate patient records and billing.
But it’s paramount to remember that all of these tasks only exist for one reason: to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. Sometimes all the other things that need doing detract from this. If you’re looking for ways to ensure your healthcare facility is genuinely putting patients first, here are some tips.
Put a Face to the Name
Making a personal connection with patients is the first step in putting them first. Before seeing patients, review their records to get a sense of their medical history, past treatments, and other pertinent information. This information can be used to start a conversation that addresses their specific needs, showing that you are invested in their health and that you care. Doing this also builds trust between healthcare providers and their patients, which is essential in any medical field.
Invest in Helpful Technology
Technology is an essential tool for healthcare providers, and it can be a great way to put patients first. Invest in patient facing technologies such as online portals and mobile apps that enable patients to access their records, view test results, book appointments, and even receive virtual consultations. EHR software can also be helpful in streamlining administrative tasks and providing personalized care.
Listen and Respond
Listening to a patient’s concerns is crucial to providing excellent care, and it shows that you care about them. Patients may feel anger, frustration, or disappointment during medical appointments, so it is essential to respond to their emotions and validate what they’re feeling. Take the time to listen, ask questions, and respond in a compassionate and empathetic manner. When a patient feels listened to, they can become more invested and positive about their treatment plan.
Transparency is essential in the medical field, and healthcare providers must be open and honest about patient care. It is vital to keep patients informed, explaining diagnoses, treatment plans, and expected outcomes in detail. Transparent communication about risks and benefits of procedures, medications and information about alternative courses of action can give patients the necessary information to make informed decisions that are best for them.
Involve Patients in the Decision Making Process
Patients are people, not numbers, and involving them in decision making is another way to put them first. Patients, who are actively involved in the discussion and decision making process of their treatment plans, tend to be more invested in their care and health.
Engage with a patient to set goals, create a schedule for follow up visits, and offer feedback or suggestions. Doing this promotes a collaborative approach, one where both the patient and the healthcare team work together to create a treatment plan that suits the patient’s unique needs.
Consider Patient Feedback
Patients who feel heard, understood, and respected during their treatment are more likely to offer feedback. Not all feedback will be positive, but it is essential to listen to what patients say and consider what they have to offer. Feedback can give healthcare providers insight into areas of care that can be improved upon or changed. Take the time to review feedback and make adjustments where necessary, implementing changes that result in a better patient experience.
Educate Your Patients
It’s important to remember that not all patients come into the doctor’s office with a good understanding of their own health. As healthcare providers, it is our responsibility to educate patients about their condition and equip them with the necessary knowledge to manage their health. Explain diagnoses in detail, go over test results, and be sure to answer any questions or concerns a patient may have. Doing this can help patients take control of their own health and better manage their condition.
Offer 360 Degree Care
Patients should be offered an all encompassing approach to healthcare. This includes physical, mental, and emotional care, as well as access to nutritionists, social workers, and other specialists that can offer guidance on how to manage certain conditions.
Also, don’t forget to offer resources for follow-up care and self-care activities such as yoga, meditation, and even lifestyle changes. Sometimes patients can feel abandoned if a particular healthcare practitioner cannot help with their specific needs. In these instances, make sure you connect them with trusted healthcare practitioners who can help.
Follow Up With Patients
Following up with patients is just as important as seeing them in the first place. Check in after appointments to see how they’re feeling, and make sure they have the resources and support they need to follow up on any treatment plans or prescriptions. Checking in with patients also helps demonstrate that you care and are invested in their health.
Healthcare providers owe it to their patients to offer the best care possible. Putting patients first involves developing strong personal connections, listening, and responding, maintaining transparency, actively including them in the decision making process, and considering patient feedback. By taking these steps, healthcare providers can offer the excellent medical care and increase patients’ overall satisfaction and experience.