Patient satisfaction is the heart of a healthcare system. Success of a healthcare service depends on satisfied patients associated with it. Patient’s expectations are increasing and the healthcare system needs to meet them and deliver quality services.
Maintaining patient satisfaction and ensuring patient-centered healthcare services can be challenging with changing consumer behaviour. Today’s patient is well aware of their rights, has more exposure and demands the best from any healthcare service. Understanding the needs and expectations of patients and developing strategies to meet them are essential to build a patient-centered healthcare system.
Patient Centric Healthcare System
A patient centered healthcare system keeps patients as the top most priority. The healthcare professionals and services offered constantly attempt to reach goals that define patient satisfaction. Such a system is often concerned about the patients, their background, their requirements and preferences. It is not just about the medical condition and their medical details, but it also encompasses, knowing the patient as a whole and gives special importance to the patient’s expectations.
A healthcare system, which is patient centric, realises the importance of developing patient’s confidence in the healthcare system. Patients feel satisfied when they are made a part of their healthcare decisions. This can be achieved by increasing patient awareness and encouraging patients to get involved in the decisions related to their medical treatment. When healthcare brands, services and professionals successfully build a strong bond with their patients, they are able to guide them and positively influence their healthcare decisions.
Main characteristics of a patient centric healthcare system include
- Patient awareness and sharing of medical information
- Patient and family involvement in medical decisions
- Evaluation of patient’s needs and making provisions
- Respect for patient’s cultural values and varied backgrounds
- Comprehensive and co-ordinated approach of the medical team
- Availability of patient-friendly facilities and services
Understanding Patient Expectations
Patients choose a healthcare service based on their trust and confidence that they would receive the best treatment and care. In order to continue with the patient pool and for further expansion, it is essential to maintain their trust and keep up with their expectations. When a healthcare service appreciates patient’s expectations and strives to give more than just the basic requirements, it creates a special place in the patient’s life.
Patients usually expect basic services and quality care from skilled and trained healthcare professionals. They wish to be treated with compassion, concern and dignity at the same time. Patients come from different age groups, races and economic backgrounds and all expect to receive quality healthcare without considering any differences.
Patients want to be heard and need an opportunity to be able to narrate their concerns to the healthcare professional. They wish that their doctors and care-givers give them time, perform clinical examination where appropriate and evaluate their medical condition rationally.
Patients feel better when they receive explanation and clear instructions as regards their illness, the investigations ordered, the treatment given. Many patients obtain some information about their symptoms before visiting the doctor and have many queries to ask. The skill of the healthcare professional is put to task in such cases, where the doctor needs to tolerantly handle their queries, resolve their doubts, giving logical explanations and ensure that the patient is fully satisfied.
Above all, patients wish to receive timely medical care, hassle free formalities, better co-ordinated and affordable medical services.
Meeting Patient Expectations
Medical professionals, hospitals and healthcare systems can create a difference in meeting patient expectations by taking appropriate steps in that direction. Some of these include
- Staying updated with latest medical information and techniques
- Handling patient queries and providing patient education effectively
- Providing organised, quality healthcare services with skilled professionals
- Making guidelines and best practices clear; to avoid undue expectations
- Implementing health schemes and similar offerings where applicable
- Managing healthcare organisations well and with proper co-ordination among all teams
Meeting patient expectations may not be an easy task but it is isn’t impossible either. A patient centric healthcare system always strives to do the best and special efforts may be required in working out the ways of implementation and reformation this would lead to better patient experience.
Continuous evaluation of patient’s needs and steady improvement in the offerings helps to move a step towards ensuring patient satisfaction. To know about online medical reputation management contact eHM.