Patient Satisfaction: What it means?

To improve patient satisfaction we need to put in place competent systems
A healthcare worker attends to a COVID-19 patient at a temporarily converted isolation ward at Shehnai Banquet Hall, in New Delhi on Sunday. [Image for representational  purpose only]
A healthcare worker attends to a COVID-19 patient at a temporarily converted isolation ward at Shehnai Banquet Hall, in New Delhi on Sunday. [Image for representational purpose only] ANI

Public expectations about treatment cannot be satisfied without overhauling the system. To improve patient satisfaction, put in place competent systems to ensure that the activity of an organisation consistently delivers on its promises to patients and stakeholders.

As the healthcare industry shifts toward patient-centered models, providers will need to fully understand patient satisfaction measures and how they affect their practice.

What we (have not) learned in healthcare service failure? How dissatisfied patients respond to poor service quality?

While assessing Health Care Quality from the Patient’s Perspective--beyond “Pads, pens, prescriptions. “It’s not just political correctness. It’s good medicine. To achieve the improvement in the quality of medical care: building bridges among professional pride and patient satisfaction –All need vision and health care reforms and above all a human touch.

To achieve success in this mission, we need honesty and facts, bold statements. Not fear and half-truths –with your own organisation, abiding by the “praise in public, criticise in private” philosophy can help contribute to a smooth sailing ship, but there are times when you can invoke the family clause with integrity.

Patient dis-satisfaction, what it means to providers?

Patient satisfaction is an important and commonly used indicator for measuring the quality in health care; it gives providers insights into various aspects of medicine, including the effectiveness of their care and their level of empathy.

What do patients really expect from health care? People don’t want more care—they want right care. People don’t expect perfection, but they demand empathy plus transparency.

As the healthcare industry shifts toward patient-centered models, providers will need to fully understand patient satisfaction measures and how they affect their practices. For Patient satisfaction we need toiImprove our healthcare standards & delivery system.

What are standard healthcare services & their importance in patient satisfaction

The “medical standard of care” is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.

Though word “standard connotes different meanings to leadership and management, care provider or care receiver, but for the quality experts and clinical auditors it is the management that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals.

Also called best practice, standard medical care, and standard therapy. In other words, the critical question in a medical malpractice case is, “Would a similarly skilled health care professional have provided me with the same treatment under the same, or similar, circumstances?” If the answer is, “no”, and you were harmed because of the sub-standard treatment; you may have a medical malpractice case.

We’ve said it once. We’ll say it again. We’ll say it until our voice is heard with appropriate response

Our healthcare system needs policy review. Now is the time to standardise healthcare system. All around us technological advancements are being made with no exceptions.

Modernising today means future-proofing for tomorrow. Hardly a day goes by without reading about allegations of negligence and counterpoints, quality failure and its impact on patients, their families-a blame game.

Much patient dissatisfaction and many complaints are due to breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship. However, many doctors are working hard, do their best, but good number of care-providers tend to overestimate their ability in communication.

Good communication an essential skill for care providers

From times immemorial medical profession identified itself as noble practice, and its care providers attained respect in civil society though a trusted doctor-patient relationship.

Our doctors are laced with skills of any international repute, But despite hard work & professional competency, “the public is losing their trust in us mostly because of gaps in communication skills, sadly not taught in medical schools nor any professional courses or workshops are conducted by our academic institutions.

Over the years, much has been published in the literature on this important topic to bridge the gap between projections and ground reality, a gap analysis in healthcare is much awaited step intended to identify gaps in services or processes. Instances in which what is happening is falling short of what should be happening—and shine a light on why these gaps exist.

Such an analysis is crucial for improving care delivery and outcomes, especially for GMC Srinagar & associated hospitals, the institution started in 1961. Also in SKIMS, commissioned in 1982, time to gear up within current resource allocation.

What makes a good doctor or care provider?

Whatever constraints in personal or professional life patient should not suffer because of those grievances.

What can you expect from a good hospital?

As a QPS ( Quality& Patient Safety ) healthcare standards expert and accreditation inspector when we inspect hospitals for compliance on KPIS (Key performance indicators) , there are five questions we ask. Is it safe? Is it effective? Are its caring processes standardised? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led? Patient satisfaction (experience) is on the top of our assessment and considered as strongest KPI, indicator of good performance of your hospital. On KPI’s I am confronted with a problem in our local HCOs.

Is the medical care provided by our healthcare providers run HCOs in compliance with what other providers in his/her specialty do for their patients in the same circumstances? Does he/she follow evidence-based consensus statements or clinical practice guidelines? These questions show two sides of the definition of the standard of care in the medical setting.

In quality terms, a standard of care is used as the benchmark against a healthcare provider’s actual work. For example, in a malpractice lawsuit, the healthcare provider’s lawyers would want to prove that the practitioner’s actions were aligned with the standard of care.

How standard of care is to be established? Best practices for boosting patient satisfaction involves small changes that save lives.

Guide to prevention of harm and good practice in the healthcare sector aims at improving health and safety standards in health institutions. Time and again we hear of the importance of provision of quality of care in our hospitals.

However, what everyone needs to know is that quality of care and adherence to safety practices while delivering care goes beyond simply ensuring our patients get the proper level of help when they’re in our facilities.

Because as we all know, low-quality cause great human suffering workplace-related health impairments, injuries and illnesses and incur high costs, both for those affected and for society as a whole. In the long-term costs not only time and money, but precious limbs or lives too.

What is not documented does not exist

The importance of proper documentation of medical records and standards of entry are important, for both quality assessors and care providers. If you believe you did not receive treatment that met the standard of care, your legal cum professional team needs to research, probe how the care your dear or near one received failed to meet the minimal competency level.

While going through a few patient records the importance of proper documentation of medical records seems to be unchecked, un-supervised; need improvement using improvement model like FOCUS-PDCA. FOCUS is an acronym for the words find, organise, clarify, understand, and select.

PDCA is an acronym for plan, do, act, and check results. No excuses please, this doesn’t need any extra resources - finances, human or machinery - but simply motivation to do better.

Healthcare sector is considered high volume-risk prone service

Technology is changing how we live, but it needs to change how we work. There are the medical advances in various healthcare sectors of diagnostics and therapeutics, a guide to good practice & prevention of harm.

With Dr.Yashpal Sharma, currently President-AHA, in state health services, I do expect QPS improvement. Without doubt, this isn’t an overnight fix. This is something that will take strategic and operation planning of continuous work. Something we should be laying the foundation of for now.

So, what steps should we be performing today to ensure this doesn’t become an issue down the road? While much of what’s left to be done is up to the government, to implement the necessary policies and procedures to ensure success, there are things that can be done at the hospital level to prepare.

Dr. Fiaz Fazili, Consultant Surgeon, expert on patent care, healthcare improvement projects, & planning

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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