Quality plays a pivotal role in health care. A high-quality healthcare system ensures that medical practitioners provide effective, efficient, safe, and patient-centered services. According to WHO, a health care system should also be accountable and responsive. It means that health care providers should listen attentively to their patients’ concerns and respond to them accordingly. Also, every patient should be treated with the utmost respect and without any discrimination as it increases patients’ satisfaction.
A wide array of factors influences the quality of health care. Here, we’ll dive deeper to look into some of these crucial factors.
- Patient’s social and demographic characteristics
A patient’s education, ethnicity, race, and religion largely influence the interaction between a patient and physician. For example, it might be difficult for an illiterate patient to understand the medical jargon used by the healthcare staff. Besides language, cultural differences can also restrict communication hence lowering the quality of services offered. Therefore, a health practitioner needs to consider socio-demographic variables before communicating with a patient. Once a doctor gets aware of the patient’s social and cultural background, it is much easier to communicate effectively.
- Patient-practitioner relationship
A relationship based on mutual trust and confidence between a patient and a practitioner can guarantee quality health care. The patient must be honest and cooperative. For example, when a doctor inquires about a person’s smoking habits or daily routine, he or she must not lie at any cost. It is worth mentioning that accurate knowledge related to a patient’s medical history can help doctors in proper diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, doctors must also listen to their patients carefully and respect their confidentiality and privacy.
With advancements in the healthcare industry, healthcare staff such as nurses can opt for online DNP programs that equip them with skills in providing patient-centered care. Consequently, this helps in improving the patient-provider relationship and elevates the quality of medical services.
- Patient’s compliance to doctor’s Instructions
Quality health care requires patient involvement and support. For example, if a doctor prescribes certain medications, a patient must strictly follow the prescription. Comparably, if a physician demands changes in a patient’s lifestyle, for example, instructs him or her to follow a specific diet or exercise, all such instructions must be followed. A patient must understand that their cooperation is for their benefit. Ultimately this leads to improvement in patients’ health and the overall health care delivery system.
- Practitioner’s expertise
Physicians’ knowledge and skills play a significant role in promoting quality health care. A professional medical degree together with robust training helps physicians in enhancing their expertise. Physicians can develop management and leadership skills through practical training. Through these life-changing skills, they will be competent enough to lead a team and resolve conflicts in a much efficient manner. Similarly, they will be in a better position to communicate and treat their patients. It could eventually maximize patient satisfaction and promise high-quality care.
- Practitioner’s motivation and commitment
A physician’s level of motivation has a direct impact on the quality of services offered. Increased motivation ensures better patient care. However, a wide variety of factors influences this motivation amongst health care providers. Some providers feel satisfied with good job performance. Others can feel motivated when provided with adequate compensation, good working conditions, and a strong relationship with coworkers. Greater autonomy in decision-making also increases satisfaction levels. On the contrary, lack of promotion and less pay can lead to providers’ dissatisfaction and causes the quality of service to be compromised. Therefore, it is crucial to consider motivational factors as they can improve the quality of healthcare systems. Furthermore, it is vital to promote positive work environments to boost motivation.
- Physician attitude and behavior
A physician must offer fair treatment to patients irrespective of their class, gender, race, and the type of disease they are suffering from. For example, patients with mental and physical disabilities should also receive the utmost care and empathy. Furthermore, medical providers should be energetic and friendly instead of being frustrated and condescending. A positive practitioner’s behavior has a good influence on the well-being of patients. It can ultimately increase patient satisfaction and elevate the quality of health care.
- Healthcare resources and infrastructure
Health resources include facilities, equipment, supplies, funds, and human resources essential for quality health care. A patient must have easier access to medical facilities. Similarly, the availability of resources ensures quality health care. Optimizing the allocation of scarce resources is critical in ensuring patient satisfaction. Investment in human resources such as training can also contribute to the delivery of valuable medical services.
In terms of infrastructure, hospitals should be properly built and maintained while keeping patient needs in mind. For example, wards with sufficient light, ample space, and beautiful views are therapeutic for patients. Patients should have access to amenities such as hygienic food and a full-time supporting staff. Also, health care facilities must be well equipped with efficient IT systems and modern technologies. Besides, a proper database is crucial to secure patients’ information. Thus, if a patient visits the second time, his or her medical records could be tracked through it. Moreover, technology can help in reducing patient’s waiting time and makes the health care delivery system much more efficient and flexible.
In a nutshell, the quality of health care is contingent upon many factors. It requires patient’s cooperation and support to improve their health. Moreover, quality health care is impossible without doctors’ expertise, knowledge, and skills. Competent and well-motivated physicians could better diagnose health problems and offer treatment plans. Good patient compliance, coupled with the positive attitude of physicians, can lead to an enduring patient-practitioner relationship. This relationship facilitates effective communication. Moreover, patients can be treated safely, effectively, and healthy by adopting non-discriminatory practices. These factors, together with well-designed infrastructure, allow quality treatment offered to patients.
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