By Lizzie Weakley
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in 2009 over 30 percent of Americans failed to receive needed medical treatment. It is an unfortunate fact that some people are unable to obtain medical care. Also unfortunate is the fact that some patients will receive sub-standard medical care while at a hospital or healthcare organization.
Luckily, healthcare professionals can improve the patient healthcare experience. Here are five ways to give your patients stellar care:
1. Understand Human Behavior
Most healthcare is focused on treating illnesses and medical conditions and providing urgent care. However, every healthcare professional can improve their patient care by furthering their understanding of psychology and social behavior. Many healthcare quality improvement courses include human behavior classes to help healthcare professionals better understand and interact with their patients. For example, patients are often nervous or avoid disclosing information because they feel embarrassed. Parents may have mental health issues which interfere with their ability to safely parent their children. Every clinical care giver can benefit from understanding more about human psychology and behavior.
2. Continuous Improvement
Hospitals and healthcare facilities operate every day of the week. Healthcare professionals often struggle to keep up with continual changes and a high patient load within a limited amount of time. However, the only way that patients will collectively receive better care is through improved processes and systems. Every healthcare organization typically has its own internal protocol for process improvements. Always take the time to make suggestions, report problems and attempt to improve internal processes and systems, and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
3. Diversity Training
Healthcare professionals provide care for a variety of individuals from every possible background. Diversity training can raise awareness and understanding of human diversity in a way that helps healthcare professionals better serve their patients. Common diversity categories include age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexual orientation. However, it also includes education, personal beliefs, socio-economic class and physical appearance. Diversity training will increase the healthcare professional’s sensitivity and ability to interact with others.
4. Continuing Education
One of the best ways you can guarantee that your patients get the best care is through continuing education in their field. Most healthcare licenses and certification require an annual amount of continuing education credits. However, this minimal education requirement offers only limited training and knowledge potential. Healthcare professionals also benefit from formal, higher education. It is highly recommended that healthcare professionals pursue higher degrees in their respective fields to advance their skills, knowledge and competency. There are a variety of quality universities and training institutions that offer both online and in-classroom training. One we like? The masters and doctorate healthcare degree program at RMUoHP in Provo, Utah.
5. Healthcare Administration
Healthcare professionals with an advanced degree and sufficient experience are perfect candidates for healthcare administration jobs. Many healthcare professionals prefer to interact and assist patients every day as opposed to dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy. However, the best way to improve healthcare systems is through passionate and properly motivated healthcare administrators who are commitment to improving quality and the patient experience. If the opportunity arises, consider expanding into healthcare operations and administration. Doing so will allow you to apply your first-hand experiences with patients to improving healthcare policies and procedures.