How Can Healthcare Organizations Implement Patient-Centered Care?

Implement Patient-Centered Care

Visiting hospitals can be an intimidating experience. As a result, virtually every hospital is giving priority to delivering quality patient-cared care and support today. By doing so, they go beyond paying attention to each individual’s unique health requirements. Physicians must set their minds and culture to thinking of their patients as people versus just as their diagnoses or complaints. 

They also consider the physical, mental, emotional, social, and mental health aspects of that person’s well-being to achieve optimal health outcomes. It is a holistic approach that calls for active participation and collaborative decision-making from both patients and care teams.

Hucu.ai facilitates effective team communication in Healthcare

So, how does it work? Practitioners begin with anticipating the fear, anxiety, or frustration that patients may experience when receiving care. They put their patients at the forefront of everything they do and reassure them at every stage to maximize comfort levels. Now, with smart technology and modern information delivery tools becoming increasingly accessible, the possibilities of providing end-to-end care as well as treatment are virtually endless. Examples include telehealth, digital appointment scheduling apps, virtual check-ins, and patient portals that are emerging as key technologies in the healthcare industry. These are all about delivering great experiences.

For instance, imagine a situation in which patients become worried when they cannot connect with anyone from a hospital from a phone. Or, what about having to wait for doctors in the exam room when they want immediate attention? This is where digital healthcare solutions streamline processes and expedite the amount of time it takes for physicians to see their patients or communicate with them. 

Here is the question: How can healthcare organizations implement patient-centered care to achieve higher rates of patient engagement and satisfaction? Let’s find out next. 

Develop Meaningful Relationships

Building and nurturing a patient-provider relationship is an important part of patient-centered care. Clinicians must gain their patients’ trust and utilize a shared-decision making model so that everyone can work together to achieve the desired outcomes. This includes practicing empathy and active listening, being mindful of past medical history (PMH), treating patients with respect and dignity, and demonstrating sensitivity to their cultural values. Simply encouraging patients to share their feelings and talk about their families, hobbies, or interests helps them feel at ease. Doing so communicates your desire to know more about them as a person and not only a patient. Also, let’s not forget the importance of keeping one’s word and meeting expectations to build rapport with patients.

Alleviate Fear & Anxiety

Medical practices often involve patients who are fearful of the unknown, of being humiliated, and of being helpless or vulnerable. Caregivers should focus on patient anxiety over physical disability, prognosis, the emotional impact of illness on themselves and their family, as well as the financial impact of their treatment. This means exploring a patient’s fear of being unable to pay high medical fees, dealing with a disappointing clinical outcome, and having to stay in a hospital environment. 

To address all these, health specialists should promote a culture of collaboration and open communication where patients participate in the care delivery process. This will enable practitioners to personalize care plans and strategies that align with patient needs, preferences, as well as lifestyles. For instance, traditionally, nurses specializing in treating overweight patients with diabetes would simply hand over meal plans and exercise regimen without consulting first. 

They would then tell their patients the changes they must make and why. In a patient-centered approach, both sides brainstorm and identify activities that match patient lifestyles. This builds a positive relationship, enables more informed decision-making, and better supports health goals as patients are more likely to follow their healthcare provider’s recommendations.

Offer End-To-End Services

Successful healthcare institutions adopt several approaches to delivering patient-centered care that works in the best interests of both parties. Doctors and nurses should make hourly rounds to conduct a range of duties. These include checking on patients, administering pain medicines, performing therapies, addressing bathroom needs, positioning them comfortably in bed, and ensuring that personal belongings are within reach. 

On admission, patients must receive a file with important information that will be of use when they leave, such as symptoms to look out for, duration of medications, etc. Nurses should make post-discharge phone calls to check on the status of patients and offer self-care instructions. 

It is also necessary to implement bedside shift reports in the presence of the patient and their family so they can ask questions, verify information, and clarify any concerns. Care boards in patient rooms must list data including new and existing medications, tests, and methods of contacting practitioners. Last but not least, hospitals have to benchmark standards of performance for staff to follow. These consist of responding proactively to patients and understanding how to address complaints or concerns as well as emergency situations. 

Offer End-To-End Services

Technological advancements contribute to the success of patient-clinician relationships. Younger patients, in particular, are open to embracing technology as an integral part of their medical care. Tools to improve patient-centered communication include mobile apps, online portals, and dictation software that reduces the time physicians spend on documenting and communicating, freeing them up for face-to-face interactions with patients. 

With remote monitoring tools, patients can monitor their health at home and minimize unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. This is a convenient alternative for patients with chronic illnesses as systems can monitor their health from a safe distance while remote health centers receive all the data. Telehealth is another effective method of progressing in healthcare through the use of digital communication and information technology. It is especially helpful for patients requiring timely access to health-related services in remote locations. They can easily use their PCs or smartphones to meet virtually with doctors and save the money they would otherwise spend on commuting. This is where Hucu.ai comes in as a leading, easy-to-use, and intuitive healthcare solution. 

Essentially, Hucu.ai is a free, secure, and encrypted HIPAA compliant texting app designed to deliver communications to patients, their families, and approved collaborators in a given moment remotely. It eliminates the red-tape associated with managing phone tags, voicemails, texts, and missed connections, allowing healthcare practitioners to focus on what they do best: provide care. Hucu.ai also integrates features that help healthcare organizations and patients coordinate for COVID-related services, including automating test results notifications, coordinating patient-care remotely, and more. 

To learn more about what Hucu.ai can do for you and how it tackles healthcare-related communication challenges, get in touch with our team. Or, sign up now to get started immediately!

 

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3 Ways Medical Staff Can Collaborate More Efficiently- Taking SBAR to the Next Level

secure texting healthcare

Ongoing collaboration of your medical staff is crucial to the successful operation of your facility and the delivery of quality treatment to your patients. Education and training can help improve a medical practitioner’s ability to collaborate with other team members, partners, and consultants both on the site and remotely. Collaboration and communication within your medical practice can increase administrative or office efficiencies as well as improve the patient experience.

Collaboration is essential to the health care system because it helps spur collaborative teamwork. Well-coordinated collaboration across medical professions at your practice has the potential to allow for more comprehensive, population-based, cost-effective patient care and a new emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, which will be important in meeting ongoing healthcare challenges.

A team that is appropriately synched when it comes to communicating their needs, questions and more, will be more effective at executing their role daily, especially when it comes to the ongoing improvement of the care delivered to your network of patients.

During a multiple-day hospital stay, a patient may interact with about 40 different employees including nurses, physicians, technicians, and others. Focusing on a high level of collaboration among teams at your facility is critical for the success of your patients’ care during their stay.

This level of collaboration also aids in building trust among different professionals and educating them regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each individual that is part of the organization and the team. This understanding can help medical staff perform their duties more efficiently and therefore, continue to succeed.

Hucu.ai facilitates effective team communication in Healthcare

Defining Your Collaborative Approach to Health Care

A collaborative team is best defined as a group of medical practitioners from different professions who share patients and patient care goals and have responsibilities for complementary tasks regularly. Establish what these teams will look like at your organization to begin setting your staff and coworkers up for greater success.

This team should also be actively interdependent with an established means of communicating with other team members, patients, and families to ensure that various aspects of patients’ health care needs are fully integrated and addressed for the future. Technology like mobile devices is continuing to make communication more robust, strengthening the bonds between the internal and external team members.

Communication: This is also where Hucu.ai can make processes super easy for healthcare facilities when it comes to coordinating communication. Hucu.ai is a HIPAA compliant, free text messaging application that brings together patients, families, and healthcare staff on one platform to collaborate in real-time.

Hucu enables teams to coordinate care faster. You can make timely care decisions by quickly identifying and messaging all other stakeholders (facility, home health, therapy, specialists, etc.) unique to each specific patient. You can spend more time providing care instead of trying to find who’s who in the care team and their contact information, for each specific patient. Hucu also helps you organize and find all information for each specific patient (documents, DC summaries, med lists, wound photos, and more) shared by different staff from different organizations. Ultimately, Hucu lets you take timely actions for higher acuity patients by empowering other collaborators to quickly flag such patients (urgent, acute change in condition, PUI, COVID19 +VE. COVID19 -VE, and more). Find out more about how Hucu help teams collaborate for better patient care, here.

Take Action: Many health care professionals use a program of communication known as SBAR which is Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation to strengthen interactivity between team and individuals.

The communication breakdown often occurs when a patient is passed along to another caregiver, along with the information about their circumstances. SBAR standardizes this process by a creative step-by-step guide on how to handle each specific situation of a patient’s health needs. The standardization of this process using SBAR also makes sure that important information is not lost when the patient is passed onto the next caregiver.

No matter what methodology you’re using, it should address creating a system of accountability, a collaborative approach to problem-solving and help identify existing problems in the process of delivering healthcare treatment.

Delegating Appropriately and Respecting Job Roles

The education of health professionals is largely separated by profession, limiting the knowledge one staff member has about the skill set of another and potentially causing future problems. Learning to understand the roles and responsibilities of other professionals is important to function effectively on any team, especially in health care because the success of the team lies in providing quality treatment to patients.

While medical training and legal scopes of practice largely determine a person’s role at a health care facility the skills of various primary care practitioners canoverlap. Most health care professionals have expertise in patient interaction, developing care plans, and educating patients on future treatments and best practices for their continued health and well being.

Therefore, it is crucial to define the roles of each member of your team, beyond a simple job title to include how they will assist others in dealing with the problems plaguing patients.

Communication: Each member of the team should clearly understand the role and scopes of practice of the more common positions in health care like nurses, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, social workers, dentists, dieticians, and psychologists. This is important to establish as a baseline to help each member of a team effectively communicate with one another.

Take Action: According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), the principles of delegation help medical professionals better reach their goals; more effectively impact the organization, and improve the care delivered to patients. When it comes to effective delegation, the essential elements include:

  • Maintaining a strong emphasis on your unique skill sets as a medical professional by knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Defining the goals of your efforts to delegate.
  • Reviewing specific sections of the law regarding delegation at a health care facility.
  • Making clear those tasks or functions that cannot be delegated to others in your department.
  • Identifying guidelines for lowering risks related to delegation.
  • Developing a system of feedback to ensure that tasks are completed.

Holding Team Members Accountable toSpecific Responsibilities and Tasks

In a perfect world, medical students would learn about the essential components of collaboration concerning coordination, communication, and shared responsibility. In some cases, this is taught before entering the workforce. In others, it needs to be reinforced in the field on an ongoing basis.

E-Consult Coordination: The first step in coordination is to determine which team members will be responsible for a particular patient problem. Because the focus of the team should be on the needs of the patient, patient care goals determine the makeup of your team and the responsibilities each team member has to address these patient problems. It is crucial to coordinate with the members of the patient family as partners on this team to ensure they are educated on the patient’s help and how to best address ongoing care. Sharing the care of an individual patient will help give them a 360-degree approach to their treatment and overall health care experience.

Communication: Effective communication is needed to facilitate coordinated care at all times. An ideal communication system like Hucu.ai includes a well-designed digital filing system, regularly scheduled meetings to discuss patient care issues around the clock, and a mechanism for communicating with external systems.

Take Action: Coordination and communication are achieved with each of your specific responsibilities when physicians and other professionals approach one another as partners, not as competitors. It is also equally important to have systems in place to support and evaluate the collaborative practices in the organization.

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