When it comes to caring for patients in a hospital and making them comfortable, then there are many things that can qualify as patient care management. Hence, in answering the question What is Patient Care Management? One must choose an area or a few areas to specifically talk about. This is because in discussing such a broad topic, things could get lost in translation thereby leading to a less than a wholesome understanding of patient care management.
What is Patient Care Management?
Patient care management can be defined as a set of activities put in place with the purpose of improving patient care and reducing the need for medical services. Patient care management involves the coordination of care in order to eliminate duplication and redundancy and with the intention of helping patients and caregivers manage the health conditions of patients more effectively.
Staff Training for Patient
Below we discuss the steps that can be taken to improve the efficiency of patient care management team in a hospital and consequently improve the quality of patient care management.
Empathy training put simply is the process of training individuals in a workplace in the act of mindfulness and getting in touch with the feelings of customers in order to provide the best service and meet the customer’s needs effectively. Empathy training is important in a hospital and any healthcare organization because it helps doctors and nurses meet patient care needs more effectively. Doctors and nurses trained in empathy skills are more likely to provide the best patient care. They will be equipped with skills and knowledge to apply to things like encouraging discussions instead of just having one-way lectures with patients.
Two-way discussions make patients feel more comfortable and heard and they are more likely to reveal details about themselves that could lead to better care being provided to them. For example during these discussions patients will be likely to reveal that they don’t have access to pharmacies or transportation to come for their first checkup – things that could lead to them being readmitted. When a doctor is made aware of this, they can then do things (like connect a patient to social services, pull a patient care team together etc) to remedy it and help the patient. Empathy training also trains healthcare professionals to fully listen to and engage with the family members of patients.
Providing Complete Treatment
Patient care management means treating the whole patient as opposed to treating just one condition or the condition that made them come into the hospital. Some patients have health issues that go just their surface condition. Sometimes the surface condition could be a symptom of other health issues and other times there could be the health issues lurking. Proper patient care management is identifying these health issues and treating them also. It also means catching symptoms early and providing treatment before things get worse. When a patient has more than one health problem. It is very common with older patients and not attending to the patients’ other health problems will lead to continued readmission. For example, older patients are more likely to have secondary infections like pneumonia or added complications like sepsis. Patient care management will help treat the patients’ main health problems and all the accompanying health issues like pneumonia thereby proving a wholesome healthcare service.
Patient Care Management Teams
Many times, patients leave a hospital after being discharged with a long list of medication they need to purchase and take, lots of outpatient appointments and doctor check-ups, new diets they have to follow etc. When a patient is discharged with just a bunch of things they need to follow specifically in order to maintain their health. These requirements leave the patient bewildered and it becomes a burden and likely that the patient won’t be able to follow these routines. This is why proper patient care management should have patient care management teams also referred to as a navigator team.
This navigator team consists of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and any other healthcare staff needed all charged with the goal of reducing patient readmissions by helping the patient navigate their health after they have been discharged. Navigator teams are particularly common with heart failure patients. They do things like provide patient education, schedule follow-up visits, and appointments and ensure the patient shows up, properly educate the patient on their discharge instructions and anything needed to ensure the patient maintains their health after discharge thus reducing the readmission rates in the hospital.
This also means empowering the patients to be active in their own care after they have been discharged. Patients do not want to be readmitted either so they are willing to take an active role in their recovery. Having them attend rehabilitation like physical therapy and even emotional therapy will have them feel like they are taking an active role in their recovery thus making them feel empowered. Empowered patients are engaged patients and engaged patients are the best patients because they are involved in their care and take active steps to contribute to their recovery. They don’t hinder the doctors and nurses doing their jobs and they are also always eager to help the doctors and nurses by providing accurate information on their medical history, they present health state, how they feel etc.