Effective communication is the cornerstone of quality patient care, but it is only one part of the equation. An effective team is also composed of diverse members with varied skill sets and experience levels. To ensure this team is effective, it is important to form a balanced composition, including a senior leader, clinical expert, and project manager just like how the healthcare industry’s leading background screening and credentialing firms work. The following steps are essential to the improvement process:
Continuity of care is dependent on the seamless handoff of a patient between a physician and a nurse. Despite advances in information technology and improved patient safety, the handoff process can still be vulnerable to communication problems. Research has revealed that 70% of serious medical errors are the result of inadequate communication. Failed communication can result in medication errors, inaccurate patient plans, and repeated tests.
Healthcare facilities must enter patient information into EHRs to make it easier for providers to consult with patients. The EHR must be secure and easily accessible for physicians. Practitioners must lead by example in fostering effective communication, which can only be achieved when all levels of the organization work together to deliver quality care. Developing meaningful communication at all levels will help the healthcare organization deliver quality patient care.
Reducing aggressive patient care
While the threats of violence against healthcare professionals continue to increase, there are ways to reduce aggressive behavior among healthcare providers. One strategy involves implementing a behavior-variable classification system to measure the level of aggression and predict whether a physician will use physical acts of aggression. Nurses who participated in the study were able to provide valuable input about the new system and its implementation. This feedback helped the workgroup make changes that improved the quality of care for patients. Ultimately, the group added more nurses to the study, where it began to roll out a standard behavior code for new patients. The team of nurses that participated in the study became champions for the program and implemented interventions such as medication order sets.
A study of hospital staff revealed that nurses, physicians, and non-medical support staff experienced the highest levels of patient aggression in their workplaces. The study also found that most aggressive acts occurred during patient care and support activities, in the presence of patients, and in communal areas. The frequency of these events increased during spring and summer shifts, as well as during afternoon shifts. Researchers are now developing strategies to reduce aggressive patient care in hospitals to ensure quality patient care.
Streamlining administrative tasks
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a policy statement on streamlining administrative tasks in delivering high-quality patient care. This position statement defines administrative tasks as those affecting the quality and safety of patient care and outlines a process for improving them. The ACP recommends analyzing administrative tasks through several lenses, including their source, effects, and solutions. ACP policy recommendations should be based on these frameworks and involve the involvement of key stakeholders to ensure that they are aligned with high-quality patient care and safety standards.
To streamline the administrative tasks of delivering high-quality patient care, identify the patient’s journey through the organization. Next, determine the steps needed to complete the process, identify problems and opportunities for streamlining, forecast benefits, and plan the practicalities of implementing the streamlined pathway. Once identified, implement the changes and measure their impact. Implementing lean management techniques is an effective way to improve health care processes. These tools automate data entry and eliminate the need for multiple employees. They also save money by reducing the amount of paperwork in the workplace.
Providing services at cost patients can afford
Providing services at price patients can afford is a critical step in delivering quality patient care. However, hospitals are responsible for disclosing their service prices, which can be difficult for patients to understand. The No Surprises Act, passed by Congress in January 2022, is designed to reduce medical surprises under private health insurance plans. Moreover, it is intended to increase price transparency to improve the patient experience and control the cost of expensive health conditions.
Reducing the number of patients each provider sees
The number of patients each provider sees directly affects health care costs. Physicians are so busy that they rarely have time to address difficult conversations with patients. Instead, many are crammed into 20 to thirty-minute appointments and spend most of their time updating records. This lack of attention can have serious consequences, such as higher health costs and lower compliance rates. In addition, half of all chronic patients fail to take their prescribed medications.
Studies have found that fragmented care is associated with higher costs and lower quality. While fragmentation is often attributed to increased costs, it is essential to understand how this affects quality and outcomes. The higher costs associated with fragmentation may be the result of unnecessary duplication of services and unnecessary testing. Poor clinical data exchange may also contribute to increased testing and hospitalizations. However, these studies have only partially understood the causes of fragmentation.