View Full Version : Managing Quality In Our Healthcare (ii)

Idris Katib
Jul 31, 2011, 06:36 PM
<p>Of immense importance is patient management. How do we manage our patients? Do we value one patient over another because of their differing backgrounds? Do we give them the required attention needed at all times? For how long do we delay them especially when they are distressed or in pains? As healthcare practitioners, do we give them due recognition as soon as they enter our facility? Whether an HMO, retainership or private patient, all patients must be accorded courtesies, recognition, sympathy and attention. Are the nurses giving them the <em>total nursing care</em> most hospitals/HMOs promised on the pages of their profiles, tracts or website? Do hospitals design and administer questionnaires on patients' satisfaction/dissatisfaction of their medical services so as to improve on various areas? Areas such as drug efficacy, hospital hygiene, doctor's competence, nurses' attitude and laboratory test results should be appraised by healthcare management as feedbacks from the patients. However, the best way to get feedback from patients is through interpersonal discussions and interview. By this, the healthcare practitioner can read beyond verbal discussions. This will help them improve on areas of deficiencies and at the same time know their strength.</p>
<p>At times, in some hospitals, nurses are fond of passing the buck as to who will take the <em>vital signs</em> for a patient who is in pains or who will clean the medical pack. This attitude gives a negative impression of our ladies(men too work as nurses!) clad in immaculate white to save lives.</p>
<p>A patient is ethically and professionally protected on any medical information relating to them. Healthcare professionals especially doctors should protect their patients in this relationship because it is the right of the latter. Common observations have revealed that hospital practitioners like nurses and laboratory scientists in some instances are fond of discussing the confidential document or medical status of patients openly with colleagues to the hearing of other patients or even outsiders. Apart from the fact that this practice is unethical, it shows a betrayal of trust on the part of these supposed ‘professionals' who are expected to be guardians of patients' confidential information. Patients with some pain should not be further unleashed with psychological pains through careless gist by healthcare staff during/after working hours.</p>
<p>Some health workers would gossip in their <em>OPD</em> that so-so patient is <em>XYZ</em>, whereas a large percentage of people who visit hospitals these days are well aware that a patient whose card is marked <em>XYZ</em> is HIV positive. Although dynamic hospitals are finding alternative terms as tags on their patients' files, doctor's reports or medical examination forms, all allied workers to the doctors in the healthcare should be well sensitised on the trauma such patients go through when their ailment is divulged to strangers without their consent.</p>
<p>Another area of patient management in the healthcare is prescription and administration of drugs. This area largely constitutes the output of doctors' diagnosis/treatment. Patients will always accuse the <em>providers</em> of prescribing or dishing out ineffective drugs. The doctors on their part blame this on the economic system and proliferation of fake drugs since they are not the manufacturers of these drugs. Healthcare practitioners such as doctors and pharmacists should collaborate with <em>NHIS,<strong> </strong>NMA</em> and Pharmacists Association to tackle the problem of drug fakery in the country while each healthcare establishment should source their drugs from registered pharmaceutical companies. This will make them achieve desired results in treatment of their patients.</p>
<p>As an ex-relationship manager in the healthcare, my finding showed that so many patients never completed their drug dosage as prescribed by doctors. Sadly, they expected good result. But what we are told in medicine is that if a patient fails to complete the last two of a 4-4-2 anti-malarial drug at a specified time, for instance, such patient has to start all over again or take a complete dosage of another anti-malarial on doctor's prescription. Patients should be oriented, by doctors, on dangers of not completing their drugs.</p>
<p>How do we manage our staff in healthcare services? Do we pay them as at when due? Do we express that a staff is more important than the other? Do we value viable ideas/proposals from members of staff or jettison them into the trash bin? An organised healthcare should realize that a tree does not make a forest. It should make all its members of staff work as team. For example, players in a football team cannot afford to play in disarray and achieve fruitful result. So is the practice in the theatre, in the labour and even during emergency. The combination of the efforts of the nurses, domestic staff, doctors and the laboratory scientist yield the desired result of life-saving.</p>
<p>Members of staff in the healthcare should be team-players to achieve the high professional standard in our society.</p>
<p>A hungry man, they say, is an angry man. Since the living of healthcare workers too largely depends on their salary, all stake-holders in the health sector should realize that prompt payment of workers' salaries amounts to saving their (workers')own lives too. Since they are the engine room of an organisation, they must be considered by the management of individual organisation as most important. Their sweat, their energy, their ideas and commitment to various responsibilities assigned to them will - in the long run - make the organisation achieve its objectives. The good treatment of the internal publics by the management always reflects on the output of the business.</p>
<p>Private hospitals should encourage research, paper presentations among staff and sponsor them for seminars so that they impact this for more efficiency in their healthcare establishments.</p>
<li>IDRIS KATIB is Public Relations Officer, Crescent University, Abeokuta and can be reached via <a href="mailto:idriskatib@yahoo.com">idriskatib@yahoo.com</a></li>
</ul><br><br><a target="_blank" href=http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19302><b>..Read the full article</b></a><br>

Aug 3, 2011, 05:17 AM
In Nigeria patients and families or people involved in a patient's care recovery are considered to be the best promoters of a hospital, doctors and nurses who work there. Testimonies patients offer to other health care seekers sell like hot cake in popularizing the efficiency and support health care givers provide. Knowing that health care consummers want to hear and patronize health institutions that respond to their social side as well as their clinical and biological sides, one wonders what efforts hospital managers and operators commit to having patients profess their experiences outside the hospital environment?

How do hospitals manage "word of mouth" as a way of assessing competency and relevance to health care seekers and their community?