Being in the current digital age, there are many ways of Enhancing Health Care Outcomes that are related to technology. Below we discuss ways that a healthcare organization can enhance outcomes by making changes to their operations, and hospital organization culture, employee training etc.
Digital Hospital Maps
Gone are the days when paper maps where the only option now with technology, hospitals can have digital maps and signage available to patients to help them navigate the hospital facility. Hospitals are usually big building made up of different floors and departments. It can be overwhelming for a patient who is trying to navigate the hospital and find their doctor or for family members and friends trying to find a loved one who is admitted into the hospitals. The digital signage takes away this problem and provides an accessible and easy guide of the hospital grounds. Without this, it can lead to patients being late for appointments, patients being stressed out before their appointments because they got lost etc and all this leads to a less than desirable patient experience and reduces the quality of care.
Straightforward Checkout Process
Discharging a patient often involves lots of paperwork and this can make the checkout process not only cumbersome but also exhausting and overwhelming for a patient. Having a streamlined checkout process will greatly increase the patient experience and also improve the process flow of the hospital. In addition to simplifying the paperwork as much as possible. Patients should be able to wait in comfortable and conducive environments. This means making waiting rooms comfortable with good chairs, proper lighting, water machines and even coffee and tea options being made available.
Patient Education Videos
There are patients who need to undergo surgeries or complex procedures and giving them as much information as possible on what to expect will help patients feel more calm and comfortable. Patient education videos help with that. They provide detailed information on what procedure is about to be performed and what the patient should expect. The videos should be able to answer any patient questions prior to the procedure and clear any doubts they might have. These videos help to ease patient anxiety and they could also help to increase patient engagement. The videos could also help provide a post-operative checklist for a patient’s recovery with reminders to ensure their recovery stays on course and information on what they should do to help speed up their recovery and stay on a healthy track.
Online Patient Platforms
Online patient platforms not only help patients be more engaged, but ti also gives them more information on their time in the hospitals such as which doctors they will be seeing, when their appointments are scheduled, information on how to navigate the campus, what to bring to their appointment, what’s expected of them etc. For example how to get to their doctors’ office and how many minutes it will take from the parking lot. These online platforms also help patients fill forms and other documents before they get to the hospital thus increasing the efficiency of their check-in or check-out process.
Engaging Patients’ Family
Helping patients stay connected with their family members by offering communication opportunities like skype calls etc can help patients feel more comfortable and help a patients family and friends feel more engaged. When patients can keep in touch with heir family while being admitted in a hospital, they feel less isolated and this can help speed up their recovery. Patients and patients family can be one more safeguard against unlikely events that might occur by paying attention to the care being provided to them. So, for example, engaged family members can take note if the wrong medication is being administered or if the same medication is being administered twice due to a shift or scheduling mixup. They can point it out and draw attention to the problem and have it fixed and corrected.
Catering to Patient Diversity
Hospitals should have systems in place that help patients who don’t speak the primary language of that country or city. Having translators on hand and readily available will reduce the possibility of doctors and nurses not knowing what to do when a patient comes in who can’t speak the common language. It speeds up the process and avoids possible mixups that could occur. Caring for patient diversity also includes caring for patients from all walks of life and with different needs. All floors should be handicap accessible and patients personal beliefs and religion should be taken into account when care is being administered.
More often than not, patients will need to be handed off to different doctors, different departments or even different facilities. Having a proper handoff structure and system will help reduce instances of errors due to miscommunication that can lead to severe medical errors. Different tools such as checklists, digital scans, and crosschecking systems should be used to make sure that handoffs are made properly.
Hospitals should put systems in place to help avoid diagnosis errors. Slow diagnosis and wrong diagnosis can all lead to drastically medical errors for a patient and for the healthcare organization involved. Hospitals should empower their doctors with the right data that will them with making the proper and correct diagnosis every time. This data should be readily available and easily accessible at all times. Also, there should be systems of checks and balances during diagnosis. If a doctor or nurse uses his or her expertise effectively and is able to point out any inconsistencies, diagnoses will be more accurate.