The Power of Patient Care: How It Can Transform Lives

Patients and their families should be engaged in healthcare to ensure optimal medical outcomes. This requires a balance of power, with patients contributing to shared decision-making and bringing their lifestyle needs, values, and preferences to the table.

But, this is difficult to do when power imbalances persist between clinicians and their patients.

Detection and Diagnosis

The area of detection and diagnosis is unique among patient care areas in the dramatic life-saving potential it unlocks. For example, patients with stage 1 bowel cancer survive 90 percent of the time if diagnosed before the disease has spread. At the same time, only 10 percent of patients receive this early treatment for advanced-stage disorders.

Diagnostic errors remain some of the most common, catastrophic, and costly medical mistakes, yet they are often difficult to identify and mitigate. Early diagnosis with experts in medicine and surgery like Armen Parajian is a vital first step in providing the proper care for a patient, and the ability to quickly diagnose disease can improve overall health outcomes and limit healthcare costs.

Improving diagnosis requires a holistic approach that includes patient-centered communication and feedback. Teamwork facilitates communication and sense-making and helps elucidate a diagnosis. Interprofessional education can help medical and nursing students recognize the value of their respective roles in the process and understand how their contributions may differ. Machine learning technology can also support diagnostic procedures by alerting clinicians and patients to anomalies that may require further investigation.

Patient Education

Patients are much more likely to follow doctor’s orders and successfully recover from or maintain a disease when they understand their condition and its treatment. Misunderstanding medical jargon or feeling overwhelmed by a glut of information can cause patients to ignore or forget important instructions, potentially leading to adverse outcomes.

Patient education is an essential component of health care. Still, it hasn’t always been a priority for physicians who are rushed during appointments or have to address multiple concerns simultaneously. Patient education also requires innovative, engaging tools to reach the most patients possible.

Infographics make a great tool to help patients learn about their condition. They’re easy to read, and they get the message across quickly and effectively. Consider using creative imagery that catches the eye, such as a chart or drawing, to maximize effectiveness. This is especially beneficial for visual learners who prefer visuals over text.

Patient Adherence

Medication adherence is vital to healthcare professionals, patients, and payers alike. The underlying causes of patient nonadherence and the potential solutions to promote compliance have been widely studied. However, to truly understand medication adherence, healthcare providers need to be able to analyze integrated data.

Using internal and external data, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies can identify adherence drivers and create customized interventions to help patients along their adherence journey. Using this method, leading pharmaceutical companies have improved adherence by 10 to 15 percent for targeted microsegments.

Nonadherence is often due to a complex pill schedule or unclear side effects. A simple solution, such as adjusting the dosing frequency of a medication or providing clear, comprehensive information about its impact on symptoms, can significantly reduce nonadherence rates. Another common reason for a lack of adherence is cost, which can often be alleviated by checking that a medication is on a formulary or prescribing an inexpensive version.

Patient Safety

In clinical patient care, patient safety encompasses strategies to minimize physical or emotional harm and safeguard privacy. This includes protocols for preventing accidents or misdiagnoses and protecting patients from information breaches that could threaten their medical records and finances.

Patient safety also ensures nursing staff have sufficient staff to attend to patients in all settings. This often requires a complex process that must account for nurse-to-patient ratios, facility understanding, and other factors that can change shift by shift.

A clear focus on patient safety can save healthcare organizations a lot of money by eliminating the need for extended hospital stays, readmissions, or extra treatments. Patient safety fosters trust between healthcare providers and patients, improving treatment plan adherence and overall outcomes. For instance, when nurses are confident they have adequate resources to manage patient needs, they can devote more time to the individualized care patients require.