Friday, 1 June 2012

Ideas for improving patient services in hospitals - 3

Healthcare is a part of service industry and shoulders an important social objective, i.e. keeping the citizens of the nation healthy and productive. Service industry is characterized by an intensive use of human beings are part of value creation and in the healthcare environment, doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists etc. work together as a team to deliver the experience of care to the patients. That is why hospitals are seen doing a great service to the community.

In the journey of quality improvement, it is always essential to keep learning and making slow yet steady progress on making our services client-centered. This has far more significance in healthcare than probably in another industry because of the very nature of the goal that the industry serves. It is in this context that the idea in this post finds relevance.

Community-Hospital interactions can be a place for a hospital’s patients to interact with the management in a constructive dialogue to improve the services of the hospital as well as provide creative ideas for fixing some of the regular problems facing the hospital and its patients. Unlike other businesses, patients feel a sense of connection to their physicians and the hospitals which they visit. Healthcare facilities are part of the lives of the community-members around it. How many times you would have come across mothers saying both their children were born in your hospital, or patients saying that they had surgery in your hospital last year, or visitors saying they prefer consulting with one of your doctors over other doctors in the city? There are many such instances where you will find patients expressing sense of ownership to the hospital.

A community-hospital, organized once a quarter, is an ideal platform for the management to listen to the needs of the community and also seek feedback from the patients about the plans of the hospital. A gap of 3 months will give management enough time to fix some of the issues raised by the patients in the last interaction and they can respond to them with the status of progress in the next interaction.

It’s interesting to note that when we become a public-listed company, because of regulations we conduct the AGMs and shareholder meets. But as part of a community of ‘stakeholders’, shouldn’t hospitals feel the same need to have a dialogue with its stakeholders, i.e. patients? 

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more and that is why i had suggested the quarterly "Rapid-fire" round at FEHI where both the hospital and the patients come together on a common platform and discuss issues.

    Which i had already discussed in my earlier comment in one of the other posts.