Improving patient outcomes means thinking beyond the numbers on a graph. It means looking at the big picture of what is important to patients. Improving patient outcomes has implications that extend to the community and even the bottom line of a hospital or practice.
For example, healthcare professionals often monitor hemoglobin A1C levels when treating a patient's diabetes. These numbers are important, but so is how a particular A1C value impacts a patient's overall well-being and quality of life. So how do medical professionals approach all aspects of healthcare to improve patient outcomes?
Industry leaders are considering the issue as they work to improve people's health, increase patient satisfaction and meet insurance standards of care. Healthcare professionals are examining the issue of patient outcomes in leadership programs like thisExecutive Masters in Health AdministrationProgramm der USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
How to improve treatment outcomes
Improving patient outcomes requires a team approach. Team members typically include the following:
- Decision maker for hospital or doctor's office
- Supporters of the health center
- Team members drive improvements
Consider these seven key actions to improve patient outcomes:
1. Reduce medical errors and improve patient safety
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that health impairments due to improper treatment are among the ten most common causes of death worldwide. Medication errors, infections and misdiagnosis are among the problems that can jeopardize patient safety. Help reduce the error rate:
- Follow consistent security procedures
- Coordinating efforts between nurses and pharmacists.
- Diagnose health problems as carefully and quickly as possible
- Improve health record compatibility
2. Offer telemedicine and other technologies
Telemedicine options and electronic tools can make it easier for patients to access care services and medical records. When people can use their computers or smartphones to get details and information, or to communicate with their health care team, they can more easily navigate the health care system to get the care they need.
3. Manage chronic diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In fact, 40% of adults have more than one chronic disease. Help patients manage these conditions by providing easy access to resources, positive reinforcement, and regular follow-up care.
4. Ensure continuity of care and discharge procedures
Coordinate treatment plans with the patient's other care providers to maintain quality care. When patients are discharged from the hospital, create clear summary reports that help all staff maintain consistent care.
5. Communicate with patients and educate them about their health
Help patients understand their health status and care plans. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) describes some communication approaches:
- re-teach.Ask patients to repeat what you shared.
- hot delivery.Discuss diagnoses and treatments with the patient.
- Drug review.Discuss the full list of medications the patient is taking.
6. Create opportunities for team support and development
Foster positive patient outcomes by providing healthcare professionals with opportunities to grow as professionals. Opportunities can range from training on the latest trends to the tools you need to perform effectively.
7. Analyze the data
Use the data analysis to determine where your hospital or other healthcare facility can grow. Review information about the patient population and surgical procedures, and use these details to set a baseline for patient outcomes. Electronic health records (EHRs) and patient satisfaction surveys are examples of ways to track outcomes and costs.
Importance of Patient Results
Best patient outcomes go hand-in-hand with quality of care, operational efficiency, patient satisfaction and positive operator relationships. See how these factors help ensure each patient receives the best care.
quality of attention
Did a patient have timely access to medical care? Has the patient had a good experience? Has a patient had to be hospitalized again? These and other questions shape the way healthcare systems track quality of care, and the answers play a role in patient outcomes. The standards of care quality include:
- Safety: Avoid avoidable injuries and medical errors
- Readmissions: Follow best hospital practices to ensure that a patient with, for example, heart failure does not need to be readmitted to the hospital after surgery.
- Efficacy: Achieving desired results, such as: B. a well-functioning heart, using the example of our heart patient; Use of scientific knowledge and evidence-based practices
- Equal Opportunity: Providing a consistent level of care regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, or socioeconomic status.
Operational efficiency can mean the difference between poor or positive patient outcomes. Emergency patients who have to sit in a waiting room for hours, for example, face serious health consequences.
WHO includes efficiency in its list of factors for effective care. The organization asks for available support when needed, but recommends using resources wisely and avoiding waste. Experienced healthcare providers do not order expensive tests, such as MRIs, unless they are really needed.
Patient satisfaction is a key component of patient outcomes. When people discuss their service satisfaction with family and friends, or share their feelings through online platforms, this has a positive or negative impact on a provider's reputation. A patient's satisfaction may focus less on clinical outcomes and more on factors such as B. whether a medical professional explained a medical condition clearly or whether the appointment scheduling went smoothly.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals are increasingly providing care under value-based purchase insurance models. With value-based purchasing, insurers reimburse hospitals and other healthcare providers based on the quality of treatment outcomes. For example, Medicare's value-based purchasing program for hospitals provides financial incentives for many factors, such as safety and efficiency, that affect patient outcomes.
Electronic patient records and patient results
Data analysis is one way to improve patient outcomes, and technology can help. EHRs collect and store patient information and essentially serve as a digital version of the patient's paper record.
EHRs store the same standard clinical data kept in paper records, such as B. Medical history, diagnosis, medications and treatment plans. They provide healthcare professionals with tools to help them make decisions about treating a patient. EPAs are also used to automate treatment processes.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reports that EHRs can help diagnose health conditions because they provide quick access to a patient's complete health picture. Rather than simply storing records of information like paper files, EHRs can help providers organize data to create information that addresses a patient's specific situation. Here are examples:
- Checking for drug interactions when a doctor prescribes drugs
- Providing information about life-threatening allergies to other members of a care team
- Educate hospitals and doctor's offices about safety issues.
- Help identify and fix operational issues.
The ONC found that 75% of physicians surveyed said EHRs have helped them provide better patient care.
Leading the way in improving patient outcomes
Want to learn more about improving patient outcomes? the InternetExecutive Masters in Health AdministrationThe USC Sol Price School of Public Policy program can help you transform your healthcare leadership and set the standard of care.
You'll learn how to improve your decision-making, analysis, leadership, and interpersonal communication—all qualities that can help guide patient care and outcomes. The Executive Master of Health Administration program offers the flexibility of online education with in-person opportunities, including doctor visits. Find out how it can help you achieve your professional goals.