Healthcare and medical duties are considered as noble professions and are seen as an opportunity to serve the mankind. When healthcare professionals gain medical or paramedical training, the initial lessons involve teaching about the medical service that they would be offering to their patients.
It focuses on training healthcare professionals to care for their patients, relieve them from their sufferings and ensure that their patients are satisfied. Patient satisfaction is an important part not only in teachings but also in clinical practice and healthcare management.
What can affect patient satisfaction?
With increasing population and simultaneously increasing health problems, the demand for medical need is increasing, but good quality medical centres and professionals may not be available everywhere. Sometimes, medical facilities are physically faraway from the patient’s place or sometimes way beyond a patient’s reach as they are too expensive. Rural patients often face problems of lack of advanced medical services and sophisticated facilities in their area.
Over-crowded hospitals, unavailability of doctors or rooms in hospitals and ever increasing medical expenses often make the patient feel dejected and helpless. Additionally, sometimes when, lack of medical competencies and medical negligence are seen, the patient is not only dissatisfied but also angry with the medical system. Such problems can give rise to patient complaints, negative feedbacks, protests and grievances.
Why is patient satisfaction so important?
Patient is the person, for whom the medical community exists. Medical and para-medical professionals, healthcare organisations and hospitals, all are being developed so that they can provide quality care for the needy patients, know the ways to create health awareness in healthcare organisations and hospitals. When a person is ill or needs medical aid, they rush to the medical personnel or hospitals with an expectation of getting medical care and want to get treated for their concerns.
Patient is the foundation and is at the centre of a medical system. The whole idea of building a medical system is to serve the patient in medical need. The existence of a medical team does not serve the purpose, if the patient does not receive appropriate medical care or is not satisfied with the medical system.
Patient satisfaction may be a subjective concept and will often have good and bad times, however, medical professionals and hospitals need to ensure a steady rise in their graphs of patient satisfaction. It is important to know that the methods used to measure patient satisfaction, often include patient satisfaction surveys and experiences shared by patients to improve health care system. However, these may be based on their one time experience, may be influenced by their medical condition, their suffering and their overall background.
On the part of healthcare professionals and hospitals, it is important to give attention to patient satisfaction. Most of the patients show higher satisfaction rate when
- Their medical needs are attended to with care,
- They are able to spend time with the treating physician
- Their queries related to their disease and the medical services are resolved
- They keep following up and build a good doctor patient relationship
These are some of the factors, which medical team should consider and provide appropriate treatment and attention to the patients to ensure they remain satisfied.
What can be done?
It is necessary to appreciate that patient satisfaction is the primary goal and that the patients should receive the medical care they deserve. A patient-centred medical care is likely to progress with strong foundation of patient satisfaction laid.
Some key points for patient satisfaction include,- h2
Effective communication with a positive healthcare professional helps in improving patient satisfaction. Doctor patient communication, attending to verbal and non-verbal clues help in building a strong doctor-patient relationship. Communicating to patients depending on their level of education, social and cultural background. Involving patients in decision making and educating them about their medical condition. Effective communication for preventive health care is a better check with many benefits.
Physicians need to understand the patient expectations, as many feel better by proper medical information, referral to rehabilitation services, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications. Many patients are interested in learning self-care activities and wish to gain control over their medical condition.
Doctor’s appearance matters and so does the attitude. Most patients prefer sober looking, professional and friendly medical team. It is necessary to have competent and talented professionals, with superior medical skills and welcoming gestures. Healthcare professionals need to deal with patient queries with patience, give respect to their expectations and plan the most appropriate medical management approach for the patient.
Patient is important and so are healthcare professionals. A satisfied medical team is more likely to attend to patients well and increase the likelihood of satisfied patients. Hospitals and healthcare professionals can treat patients with dignity and provide quality medical care to ensure patient satisfaction.