There is no denying that healthcare is an industry of exceptional standardization. Standardized protocols, standardized practices, and standardized procedures are all necessary components to ensuring efficient, high-quality care. Standardization is an essential part of delivering effective, safe, affordable care including consistent outcomes, reduced waste, improved efficiency, reduced costs, and improved patient safety.
As the healthcare industry transitions from volume to value-based care and as patients become more engaged in their health, understanding what drives patient decision-making is increasingly a strategic imperative. Although the importance of patient satisfaction has received a lot of recognition, the reality is that many know very little about the aspects of care that matter most to patients. So, what do patients really want in their healthcare? Five-star services, hotel-like hospital rooms, valet, and gourmet meals? Not quite, the answer may actually surprise you.
Research conducted by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions revealed that hospitals with better patient experience ratings have higher profitability and perform better financially. According to the findings, improving patient experience can help increase performance through strengthening customer loyalty, boosting reputation, and growing the utilization of services. Additionally, the report found the association was strongest with aspects of patient experience linked to better clinical care.
Medication nonadherence is responsible for an estimated 125,000 deaths annually and $100-$300 billion per year in the United States. It is an epidemic associated with poor health outcomes, increased hospitalization rates, and higher healthcare costs. Medication nonadherence has long been a concern to clinicians and healthcare systems worldwide. Still, nearly 50% of patient prescriptions are taken incorrectly or not at all.
As discussed in our last blog, health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health literacy can affect an individual’s ability to navigate the healthcare system, fill out complex health forms, find providers and services, and engage in self-care and chronic-disease management.
In our last blog, we discussed best practices for improving patient education. However, it is also important to realize the significance that health literacy has on patient education, patient adherence, health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and costs.
As part of the healthcare industry’s shift toward value-based care, many organizations are focusing increased efforts on improving patient engagement. In fact, patient engagement and patient education are recognized as key components for increasing adherence and outcomes. According to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patient education was linked to improved patient compliance and lower out-of-pocket costs. Additional research found that providing patients with targeted education materials led to greater satisfaction of care.
Patient engagement is an essential part of providing safe and effective quality patient care. Research has demonstrated that patients who are more actively involved in managing their healthcare have better outcomes and incur lower costs. Additionally, patient engagement has been linked to increased patient loyalty and retention, improved employee satisfaction, reduced medical malpractice risk, and better financial performance.
Medical errors such as delays in diagnosis, preventable surgical complications, and medication overdoses are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Consequently, reducing preventable adverse events and improving quality and safety in patient care is at the forefront of every healthcare organization.
Medical errors are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, according to research by Johns Hopkins. In fact, one in seven Medicare patients experiences a medical error while in the hospital. However, medical errors do not only occur in hospitals, they can also happen in medical offices, pharmacies, nursing homes, surgery centers, and clinics. These errors can often involve medication, lab reports, surgery, diagnosis, or medical equipment. Most medical errors are a result of problems created by today’s very complex health care system, but they can also happen due to communication breakdowns.