5 Ways Healthcare and Technology Experts Can Improve Patient Care

Updated on June 23, 2023

Improving healthcare quality can be viewed on both a macro level – such as by making care more accessible – and a micro level. Physicians can improve patient care on a micro level by taking small steps to make it easier for patients to access their services, like offering onsite clinics or providing 2-way communication via patient portals.

Improve Patient Communication

Patients must receive information about their diagnosis, treatment options, and care needs clearly and efficiently. They also need to receive it with compassion and empathy.

Medical providers can make communication with their patients more effective by establishing rapport, soliciting and listening to concerns, and explaining complex concepts in simple language (as opposed to medical jargon). Using plain language communicates that the provider is interested in a two-way conversation, not simply giving a monologue.

Similarly, clinicians should maintain eye contact when communicating with their patients and avoid interrupting them. They should also use non-verbal cues such as nodding and maintaining appropriate body posture. And they should practice their active listening skills by reflecting on what they have heard and paraphrasing to confirm that they understand. Look for many ways experts like the CEO at TapestryHealth, Mark Hirschhorn, could provide more insights on healthcare and technology.

Improve Patient Engagement

Engaged patients make better decisions about their health, are more likely to follow doctors’ orders, and proactively manage their care. This helps reduce overall medical costs for all patients.

Provide access to educational resources – online and offline. Encourage patient portal use and email sign-up to receive newsletters, invitations to upcoming healthcare events, seasonal reminders (back-to-school physicals, flu shots), etc. This also increases engagement and cuts telephone communication demands on staff.

Improve patient medication adherence through daily reminders via text or email. This can significantly increase a patient’s day-to-day compliance with their prescriptions. For example, a person with asthma might be encouraged to log their symptoms in a HIPAA-compliant app that can remind them to take their medication daily. This could help prevent an asthma attack from happening.

Improve Patient Safety

Patient safety initiatives protect patients from a variety of healthcare-related problems. These include misdiagnosis, improper prescriptions, and medication errors. These errors can be expensive and sometimes life-threatening for patients.

While many hospitals have put time into improving patient safety, the truth is that it has been challenging to make a lasting impact. This is mainly because hospital culture plays a significant role in preventing patient safety improvements.

It is essential that every member of the staff, from janitors to decision-makers, must consider patient safety as their priority. Additionally, healthcare facility managers must ensure that technological advances are optimized and used to improve patient outcomes and prevent AEs.

Improve Patient Adherence

Achieving better medication adherence can improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions. However, patients face many barriers to adhering to their prescriptions. Some obstacles are intentional, such as forgetfulness, while others are unintentional, such as low health literacy. In one study, patients who received physician-led medication reconciliation and tailoring; pharmacist-led adherence counseling; a two-hour adherence education session with a nurse or therapist; and personalized voice messaging based on adherence predictions had higher adherence rates than those not receiving these services.

In addition, practices can use e-prescribing technologies to identify patients who still need to fill new medications and to alert them to their unfilled prescriptions. Moreover, encouraging patients to share their medication-taking behaviors with MAs in a judgment-free environment has also improved general adherence.

Improve Patient Education

Patient education is vital to understand their diagnosis, follow treatment recommendations and avoid complication-related readmissions. It also helps patients self-manage their care and avoid unnecessary hospital or urgent care visits.

Finding out how a patient learns and tailoring your teaching methods is essential. Some people are visual learners, while others prefer to read or listen. One-to-one training provides the best opportunity to answer questions, explain, demonstrate, and practice until the information is understood.

Informed patients are more likely to abide by their health professionals’ instructions, which will help prevent the recurrence of their medical condition and improve outcomes and satisfaction across the healthcare ecosystem. This will free up hospital resources so staff can concentrate on the most critical cases.

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