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Sustainable Ways to Improve The Patient Experience in Health Emergencies

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For the past two years, healthcare facilities have worked under extreme conditions due to a worldwide health emergency. These extreme conditions were necessary, but not sustainable. Although more than half the population is now fully vaccinated, new variants continue to pose risks crippling healthcare providers nationwide. Emergency facilities are stressed due to COVID-19 patients that they must treat alongside typical health emergencies. This creates more pressure for medical staff, who already feel overworked. Consequently, the chaos is causing a decline in the quality of healthcare and the patient experience and outcomes. It’s important for healthcare facilities to create a sustainable environment that’s good for their staff and the people they care for. 

From longer wait times due to staff shortages to patients being treated for non-COVID-19 related medical problems later contracting the virus, the issues continue to mount for healthcare practices and their patients. Ultimately, if the disconnect between healthcare providers and the communities they serve evolves, it can lead to other national crises. 

What can medical experts and support staff do to prevent another crisis? Start by finding ways to enhance the patient experience. Continue reading for suggestions. 

Give Overworked Employees More Sustainable Work Conditions 

Healthcare employees are overworked overwhelmed, and it’s starting to impact their performance. These conditions are not sustainable and are leading more people to leave the healthcare profession. You cannot expect them to continue to provide quality services to patients when they’re running on empty. Medical directors, human resources departments, and other managerial personnel must evaluate the needs of their teams and do what they can to ease their frustrations. 

Whether it’s making changes to shifts, hiring more support staff, offering affordable childcare, or updating break rooms to include space for naps, meditation, and light entertainment, it goes a long way in boosting workplace morale and efficiency. Ultimately, when your team feels better, they’re inclined to provide optimal patient services. 

Streamline Processes And Services With Sustainability in Mind

Another way to enhance the patient experience amid a crisis is to streamline processes and services for employees and patients. Tap into the many technological resources and platforms designed for healthcare facilities to provide more efficient services without putting more pressure on your team. More technology means less waste and makes it easier to access patient files when needed. 

You can enhance your website to include tasks such as scheduling appointments, reviewing patient files, filling prescriptions, and requesting referrals, so patients can get the assistance they need 24/7. Another suggestion might include virtual visits for patients with non-life-threatening conditions. Such strategies ease employee workload while enabling patients to continue receiving quality care. 

Reinforce Health, Safety, And Security Measures

Fear is another force driving a wedge between the doctor and patient relationship. Many people are still concerned that visiting a healthcare facility could cause them to contract COVID-19. Unfortunately, the patients that avoid seeing the doctor are those with the most significant health problems. Healthcare providers can ease these fears by beefing up health and safety measures. Schedule regular cleaning and sanitization, stock up on medical-grade masks, soap, and hand sanitizer, and enforce safety practices like social distancing, sick and well-waiting areas, and handwashing. 

Another fear healthcare facilities are dealing with is cybersecurity threats. There’s been an increased report of hackers accessing secure databases and holding essential data hostage. You can put everyone’s mind at ease and safeguard patient data by investing in high-quality healthcare cybersecurity solutions

Look Beyond Medical Conditions

A doctor’s primary role is to look after the health and wellness of their patients. Be that as it may, many of those suffering have medical problems due to something going on in their personal lives. For example, a patient with vitamin deficiencies could be struggling because they don’t have enough money to get access to better nutrition. Ultimately, to provide quality care, medical professionals must learn how to look beyond the patient’s diagnosis. 

Connect with government and non-profit organizations to find out what assistance is available to residents in the community, then recommend these services to patients. You can start a food or clothing drive for everyone to pitch in and give back to those in need. If possible, hiring a mental health professional to talk with patients struggling emotionally can make a world of difference. 

There’s no denying that times are challenging for healthcare professionals and their ability to provide quality services to their patients. These challenges are ultimately causing a decline in the doctor-patient relationship. As a disconnect could result in more complications, healthcare facilities must implement practices like those listed above to enhance patient experiences.

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