• What constitutes good quality of care?

    Hospitals are important institutions that should strive to deliver high quality, reliable and low cost healthcare services. There are many characteristics that define what good healthcare constitutes. As a baseline, hospitals should have enough resources and staff on duty to provide adequate healthcare. The staff should possess a healthy combination of skills, experience and knowledge.

    Safety is of paramount importance

    Hospitals by default must incorporate the best safety practices to ensure that the patient is not stressed beyond what their disease or condition subjects them to. This requires the staff to be constantly on the guard and remain vigilant. The staff needs to amplify their efforts to take care of both children and adults alike, people who are put in a vulnerable position because of their disease.

    The hospital should be adequately prepared for both emergency periods and rush hours. Even when under strain, the staff should ensure that the hospital is clean to minimize the risk of infections. Hospitals must be adequately staffed to prevent burnout too.

    Maximizing efficiency

    The objective should be to minimize the cost of healthcare and eliminate waste from processes. Hospitals should have the capability to keepsupply costs to a bare minimum. This includes have a transparent pricing system to provide patients with low cost healthcare at comparable qualities.

    Staff should get access to all relevant information so they can provide effective healthcare solutions. They should have access to medical records and other credentials to learn about their patient. Different teams should be able to share all this information with each other in a coordinated effort, this requires all channels of communication to be open across all hierarchy levels.

    Developing an emotional bond

    Staff should strive to achieve high levels of ‘engagement’. Engagement is when an employee develops an emotional and psychological bond to their jobs and their patients. These people go the extra mile when it comes to providing competent and compassionate care.

    To this end, nurse engagement deeply affects quality. It has been observed that providing nurses with a voice can increase their engagement levels for best results. At higher engagement levels, employees tend to follow all protocols related to improving safety and quality of healthcare.

    This is in direct contrast with disengaged employees who are more likely to miss out on using technology and protocols effectively.

    Creating the right environment

    Researchers have shown that the optimal nurse-patient ratio plays a key role in providing a safer environment for patients. Maintaining the right quantity of staff promotes better health care, reduces turnover and minimizes burnout. This results in healthier and happier patients.

    The bottom line

    Tackling healthcare requires a multifaceted approach which takes into account several factors such as engagement, appropriate staff-patient ratios, following the right protocols and effectively making use of technology. A good hospital should always be open to suggestions and feedback and adapt their services accordingly.

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