The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted each medical professional and their ability to put patient care first. For over a year, every primary care physician has had to delay appointments and go without supplies and patient care has suffered because of it. This is not to say that these healthcare providers don’t care about their patients, but they haven’t been able to focus on them as effectively.
In this article, we discuss how healthcare provider can alter their practice to put patient care first. By changing the way you think about every hospital visit or how health insurance can cause a patient stress, you will see an improvement in the quality of medicine you can provide. Continue reading if you want to be the best medical professional you can be.
What Is Good Patient Care?
In order to put patient care first, we need to identify what good patient care looks like in the eyes of both the patient and the medical professional. Regardless of what kind of healthcare provider you are, when your patient comes in for a hospital visit, they are experiencing stress.
Some may be stressed from pain, while others may be stressed from fear or because of health insurance. Whatever the source is, it’s important to note that it’s not just another day for your patients when they come to see you. Good patient care starts with this understanding.
As a medical professional, it’s your job to care for your patients, and that includes showing them that you care about their wellbeing. It’s being respectful of putting what the patient needs and wants first.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Medical Professionals?
The COVID-19 pandemic has understandably affected every healthcare provider and their ability to provide quality medicine. Whether you work in human or veterinary medicine, patients are booked weeks out and it’s difficult to fit in sick patients.
Many patients have even had their appointments canceled or rescheduled in order to make room for more urgent cases. This was part of the CDC’s recommendations on managing caseloads.
What’s worse is the effect on medical supplies. When a primary care physician isn’t able to get the medications or medical supplies they need, the patient suffers.
How Do You Put Patient Care First?
With the struggles caused by the pandemic, it can be difficult to see how to put patient care first. Right now, a primary care physician feels they need to focus on getting through the day. They also may feel that they don’t have the capacity for change.
By taking a gradual approach, you can end up where you want, which is putting patient care first. To do this you need to increase capacity, re-prioritize, simplify workflow, set goals, and utilize the right technology.
Increasing capacity is an expensive, but necessary first step when it comes to improving patient care. Assigning more patients to a healthcare provider who is already overworked isn’t going to work. In fact, overworking a primary care physician can decrease the quality of care they can provide.
Taking the financial hit and hiring more staff is the key to better serving your patients. If you can’t find experienced staff, then consider investing in recent graduates. Offer incentives such as sign-on bonuses and advertise in different areas of the country.
As you work toward gaining more staff, train each medical professional to re-prioritize their tasks. Performing an exam, collecting labs, and taking vitals are essential when practicing medicine, but it shouldn’t come before compassion and understanding. Prioritizing treating the patient instead of just the illness makes your care feel more personal.
This can also help improve the quality of medicine provided by a healthcare provider. When they make an effort to prioritize the patient, they become more invested in their wellbeing. This higher level of investment will make them more patient and more thorough, which benefits the patient, the primary care physician, and the medical facility.
Simplify Your Workflow
Every healthcare provider aims for efficiency for every patient’s hospital visit, but there’s always room for improvement. Take the time to observe and consider appointment flow and routines. Find the least efficient tasks and see what opportunities there are to simplify the workflow.
Better efficiency means more time for, something that’s invaluable to a medical professional. This extra time can go to an extra check-in with a hospitalized patient or a more thorough exam. Simplifying workflow leaves a lot of opportunity to up your game as a medical professional.
A primary care physician should always be setting new goals when it comes to putting patient care first. These goals don’t have to be insurmountable goals. You can start with small and easily attainable goals.
Make an effort to check on a patient one extra time or even just asking each patient at least one question about their life. These goals will change the way you practice medicine as well as the way patients see and respond to you.
Utilize the Right Technology
Finally, make your job more manageable by using available technology. When every minute counts, saving time here and there adds up in a meaningful way. Find out more about how software like that from Insight can make a difference in the flow of your day.
Start Taking Steps to Put Patient Care First
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way a primary care physician cares for their patient. While the quality of medicine went down, it definitely doesn’t mean they don’t care about their patients, but that they are spread thin. Start taking the necessary steps toward putting patient care first by investing in a larger medical professional team to help.
Once you have the team you need, you can focus on re-prioritizing, streamlining, and investing in technology to crush your goals. You will see improvement in the quality of medicine and patient satisfaction.