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Perspective: The State of Patient Experience
Healthcare industry has undergone a tremendous transformation in recent years. The primary objectives behind these developments are to ensure and improve patients’ safety and overall experience. Both government and private hospitals are working arduously to provide quality health services to the patients. Nonetheless, the cost of healthcare has increased exorbitantly during the past few years. A huge amount of money has been spent on infrastructure, technology, and digitalization of the industry, while priority issues such as patients’ safety, care and welfare have been ignored constantly. Unfortunately, this imprudent planning and execution made healthcare a luxury for many patients.
It is evident that if we want to render better and equal healthcare services to all patients, we must determine our priorities clearly. The success of any healthcare organization depends on the satisfaction level of its patients; therefore, it is essential to consider their opinions and concerns before designing a strategic plan. Currently, most of the decisions regarding healthcare management are either taken by the senior authorities or financial advisors. Usually, these people have a keen understanding of the business, but have limited knowledge about serious health issues and patients’ requirements.
Additionally, there is always a communication gap between administration and doctors regarding priority issues. Physicians emphasize on patient-centric care, however, business leaders are more interested in designing a profit-centric organization. The significant amount of money is spent on promotions and advertisement rather than in improving products or services (Merlino & Gandolf, 2016). Such strategy results in patients’ dissatisfaction and lack of trust in the system and consequently, many patients switch to online information and put themselves in more danger. To avoid these issues, business executives, economists, doctors, and patients must work collectively. Workshops and training programs should be designed to teach the importance of strategic planning and execution. Doctors and nurses should develop more empathetic and friendly attitude towards patients so that they can share their needs and apprehensions without hesitation (Merlino & Gandolf, 2016). Frequent inspections should be conducted to ascertain the quality of infrastructure, medical equipment, and treatment plans so that patient can receive high-quality services.
Transparency in healthcare is another major concern. Most of the hospitals and doctors do not prefer to share their knowledge and information with patients. Many patients are unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment plans and do not have any active involvement in decision-making. Physicians argue that patients lack enough medical qualifications to understand the diseases and treatment options and therefore, are not involved in decision-making. However, patients prefer inclusive care and want to have an open discussion with their health care providers regarding available treatment plans.
Moreover, there is a dearth of data on physicians’ educational background and clinical practices. Neither doctors, nor hospitals want to report their clinical errors or grading and keep them a secret (Kachalia, 2013). Additionally, patients do not get access to their own health records. Due to this, there is a lack of trust between patients and physicians. A transparent system is a must to enhance the credibility of health care services. Such system will not only increase patients’ trust, but will also provide them the freedom to make their own choices. Legislation can play a critical role in bringing transparency in the healthcare. The government should set standards for the evaluation and grading of a healthcare organization and share these reports on-line for the public welfare. These initiatives will surely help patients to make better decisions and escalate their faith in the system.
Last decade has witnessed drastic reformations in healthcare industry. Today, most hospitals are equipped with sound infrastructure, latest medical technologies, and professional and well-trained staff members. Both administration and physicians understand the need of training and emphasize on providing value-based services. Doctors and nurses are trained to develop compassion and patience towards patients. Consequently, patients feel more connected to their healthcare providers and show more trust in the services. Hospitals and other health care organizations are constantly trying to improve their brands by providing best possible services to their patients.
Healthcare reforms have helped in providing affordable medical services to all patients, while ensuring their safety and satisfaction (Leape, 2015). Patients play a crucial role in selecting their treatment plan. Empathetic and intuitive interventions not only increase the recovery process but also assure mental and emotional well-being of the patient after a chronic disease. ost organizations acknowledge that patient’s experience is of utmost importance to provide quality services, nevertheless, they lack a strategic planning to achieve these goals. There are various factors that can influence patients’ experience, including hospital’s infrastructure, management, waiting time, the attitude of doctors or other staff members, safety, cost-effectiveness of a treatment plan and market share of an organization. Although, each factor has its own importance, patients’ safety is the most important element of any healthcare organization. Additionally, business leaders and executives should organize various training programs for the professional and emotional development of their staff members. Robust financial planning is also needed to reduce the healthcare cost while maintaining the quality and authenticity of the services. Future research needs to focus on patients’ perspectives and market demands to develop a more pragmatic strategy for healthcare reformation.