Patient Safety, Quality, and Satisfaction
As patient satisfaction continues to become more and more important in many hospitals and medical care facilities, there are many discussions focusing on the various different ways medical staff can help make sure that patients leave the building feeling satisfied with the care they received.
One of these conversations focuses on making sure patients stay safe and receive a high quality of care. But the issue many medical facilities are running into is that they’re not sure how to properly measure these elements—making it more difficult to improve them.
Electronic Health Records
A recent study by the Institute of Medicine has shown that misdiagnosis is a serious issue for patients. Many clinicians don’t balance the idea of accurately diagnosing an ailment with their worry of overtesting their patients—which leads to medical bills racking up, and in turn leads to patient dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, it’s almost a lose/lose situation because a misdiagnosis (and then improper treatment) can also result in high medical costs, difficulty in closing the revenue cycle, and an unsatisfied patient.
Some physicians are calling for electronic health records to help alleviate some of this stress of misdiagnosis. They are coupling these with a trigger-based system that will alert physicians to abnormalities that show up on follow up visits.
Creating a Pay Environment that Supports Diagnosis
The Institute of Medicine released a report called Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare which outlines eight different means for creating an environment that is more conducive for accurate diagnosis. A major role in this, especially as clinicians struggle to balance overtesting with appropriate diagnosing, is finding a pay structure that works well for all parties involved. Tests obviously cost money to run, and no one is suggesting that these tests be performed for nothing. However, many patients aren’t aware of the costs associated with these tests before they’re run—leading to many unexpected costs once the bill comes.
If adjusting the pay structure isn’t feasible, a simple conversation can help the patient understand what’s happening. Clinicians can explain why a test is valuable and how much it may cost. These minor explanations can provide a patient with the understanding to know how and why the test they’re receiving costs as much as it does, prevent them from being blindsided by a huge bill, and make it easier to collect those payments when the time comes.
Overall Patient Harm
Beyond the scope of misdiagnosis, many hospitals don’t have the capacity to track overall harm like adverse drug side effects or infections. Any negative occurrence a patient experiences in the hospital that isn’t necessarily a direct result of treatment is going to leave a patient less satisfied.
You can’t fix general patient harm unless you know how and why it’s happening. By recognizing these things, you provide your hospital with an opportunity to improve in a big way, and make sure your patients are having the best experience possible within your walls. There are calculators that exist to provide medical care facilities with an easy way to track harm, record data, and make improvements around it.
Remember: satisfied patients are much more likely to pay on time, and come back for future medical needs. If you want to close your revenue cycle quickly and efficiently, contact us today.