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Improving patient care has become a priority for all health care providers with the general objective of achieving a high degree of patient satisfaction. Greater awareness among the general public , increasing demand for better care, keener competition, more health care regulation, the increase in medical malpractice litigation, and concern about poor outcomes are factors that contribute to the present change.

The quality of patient care is actually determined by the standard of infrastructure, quality of coaching , competence of personnel and efficiency of operational systems. the elemental requirement is that the adoption of a system that’s ‘patient orientated’. Existing problems in health care relate to both medical and non-medical factors and a comprehensive system that improves both aspects must be implemented. Health care systems in developing countries face a good greater challenge since quality and price recovery must be balanced with equal opportunities in patient care.

Non-medical Aspects

The fact that the patient is that the most vital person during a medical aid system must be recognised by all those that add the system. This single factor makes a big difference to the patient care in any hospital. In developing countries financial constraints often cause compromised quality of care. this will be corrected by the introduction of management systems that emphasise cost recovery. Our experience shows that a system should first be developed to draw in patients who can afford to buy top quality services and such a system should then be extended to non-paying patients. this technique has the benefits of top quality care and good cost recovery. a number of the problems that require to be addressed to enhance patient care are listed below.

  • Access. Accessibility and availability of both the hospital and therefore the physician should be assured to all or any those that require health care.
  • Waiting. Waiting times for all services should be minimised. In most developing countries, the high demand for services often makes this an enormous problem. Nevertheless, it’s to be addressed effectively through continual review of patient responses and other data and using this feedback to form the required changes in systems.
  • Information. Patient information and instruction about all procedures, both medical and administrative, should be made very clear. Well trained patient counsellors form an efficient link between the patient and therefore the refore the hospital staff and make the patient’s experience better and the physicians’ task much easier.
  • Administration. Check-in and check-out procedures should be ‘patient friendly’. for instance , for in-patients, we’ve instituted a system of discharging patients in their rooms, eliminating the necessity for the patient or the family to travel to a different office or counter within the hospital and waiting there for an extended time. This has been favourably received by patients.
  • Communication. Communicating with the patient and therefore the family about possible delays may be a factor which will avoid tons of frustration and anxiety. The creation of a special ‘Patient Care Department’ with a full time Administrator has helped our institution significantly and has enhanced our interactions with patients and their families.
  • Ancillary Services. Other services like communication, food, etc. should be accessible both to patients and to attending families.

Medical Aspects

The medical aspects of patient care are far better understood by most health care providers. this is often hooked in to the standard of medical and technical expertise, and therefore the equipment and quality assurance systems in practice. the subsequent factors contribute to the development of patient care.

  • Trained Personnel. A well-trained ‘Eye Care Team’ is critical to providing top quality care with desirable outcomes. Lack of adequate personnel and lack of adequate training facilities for the available personnel are major problems. The temptation to recruit untrained or poorly trained people should be resisted. the amount of coaching programmes must be increased, and therefore the existing programmes must be improved. Making a consistent basic curriculum available for all training institutions/programmes should help cause standardisation.
  • Quality Eye Care. there’s significant concern about the outcomes of cataract surgery, and other common surgical procedures. Incorporation of quality assurance systems in every aspect of patient care is critical. for instance , adherence to asepsis within the operating rooms will help reduce post-operative morbidity and proper training of ophthalmologists in diagnostic techniques will help achieve better control of sight-threatening diseases.
  • Equipment. All the required equipment must be in situ and properly maintained. this is often vital to the performance of the medical system and contributes significantly to raised results. Eye-care equipment of acceptable standards is now available at reasonable prices, and this must be amid appropriate maintenance systems.
  • Use of Proper Instruments. Good quality instruments are now available at lower costs. With the event of proper internal control systems for a given operation, the prices are often lowered.
  • Use of Appropriate Medications. Access to low cost medicines is an absolute necessity for appropriate care.
  • Use of Newer Technologies. it’s important to repeatedly employ newer technologies that improve the standard of care. Of course, this must be through with regard to cost-efficiencies.

Improvement of patient care may be a dynamic process and will be uppermost within the minds of medical aid personnel. Development and sustenance of a patient-sensitive system is most crucial to achieving this objective. it’s important to concentrate to quality in every aspect of patient care, both medical and non-medical.

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