20 March 2019 | Features | By Anand Kumar Tiwari
Through this approach, the idea is to establish a patient-friendly network wherein patients are equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring their care to make sure it meets their needs.
image credit- thelocal.fr
We all know that good health is the basic need of every human and therefore, people struggle to stay healthy and also intend to keep the members of their family healthy. Despite such struggles, if people are unable to get the services as per their requirements, then the efforts put in gets nullified. The reasons could range from people being busy with their schedule, or that they are unable to follow a particular diet regime or do not have the time to visit the doctor for check-ups and at the end tend to ignore their health. In the age of instant click and order, healthcare service providers are striving hard to attain the patient satisfaction goals.
This could also be referred to as on-demand healthcare, a by-product of a healthcare revolution wherein consumers can obtain the services they need, at the preferred time based on their feasibility and availability.
Making Patients to drive their own healthcare more proactively
Patient-centric care approach had taken a hit recently. Through this approach, the idea is to establish a patient-friendly network wherein patients are equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring their care to make sure it meets their needs.
In the past, patients were expected to fit in with the schedule that healthcare service providers offered, however inconvenient it might have been for the patient. In order to maintain a patient-centric approach, the service models of the healthcare providers had to change and were made more flexible to meet patients’ needs in a manner that is best for them and is chosen by them. It involves working with hospitals to create a caregiver network as per the patient's convenience, and people and their families to find the best way to provide care.
Building patient trust and improving satisfaction
Patient-centric care is also about taking into consideration people’s wishes, values, family situations, social circumstances, and lifestyles; seeing the person as an individual, and working together to develop the appropriate care plan and follow-up services.
Follow-up services, post a consultation, is paramount to improving treatment outcomes. In order to successfully guide the patients about their disease and its management, providers must employ proven patient engagement strategies that have been effective in other aspects of clinical care. The form and frequency of follow-up care entirely depends upon the severity of the case. Follow-up care generally keeps patients healthier, drives positive care outcomes and brings in a sense of self-management. The role of follow-up care companies like Eldricare has proven indispensable as life coaches. Eldricare follows up with patients over the phone, counsels them and reminds them about their medications, nutrition and the need to visit their doctor.
It also helps to reduce hospital readmissions. It enables a doctor to arrest the complications early enough and mitigate issues at the outset, thus keeping patients out of the hospital. Reducing hospital readmissions has also had positive financial outcomes for healthcare organizations.
Managing and Cutting No-Show Appointments
Given the lopsided the doctor-patient ratio in India and the burden on doctors for monitoring patients, this aims to reduce doctor-patient ratio and improve their relationship. Post consultations with the doctor, patients forget to go in for a follow-up and ignore their health conditions. In the case of chronic diseases such as diabetes, follow-up care is crucial. Otherwise, it can lead to other severe health conditions like heart diseases.
It also helps in reducing the no-shows and maintain patient’s continuity in seeking services. With the help of follow-up care and the saved medical record of each visit, the doctor can analyze the situation of the patient and compare the progress the patient has shown week-on-week.
Just as the app-based cab-aggregators disrupted and re-invigorated the transportation sector, the emergence of patient caregiver network and on-demand services may be seen as a disruption of the business of traditional healthcare. In reality, it offers yet another low-cost, convenient patient choice.
Although this model is still in its infancy, it is evident that healthcare organizations will have to adapt to it to stay in demand with today’s patient population. This model has all the ingredients to be successful as it has already been proven in the West.
Proactive, Knowledgeable patients will drive the process and in turn this will also result in reduction in utilizations such as readmission and frequent Emergency Room Visits.
Anand Kumar Tiwari, Senior Director-Product Management for ZeOmega, Eldricare