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Patient Care Management In Healthcare

KM Vishnu Babu

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Patient care is an area, which needs atmost attention in the healthcare arena. This article would shed some light on how hospitals and other healthcare centres, by following some simple rules, can bracket their patients by providing them with top-class services.

Retaining Regular Patients In OPD

It is always better and more profitable to have regular patients than newly-generated ones. Regular patients always promote services through their word of mouth. To retain regular patients, there should be well-organised plan to maintain relations with them. This can be done through customising and regularising the available patient database and to get detailed information on OP, IP, CT scan, cosmetic surgery and superspecialty services of patients visit on weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Their information and their e-mail address will help send the latest and updated information and message through e-mail at any convenient time. The messages could be classified as:

  • Greetings during national / state festivals and local functions.
  • To greet patients at birthdays or marriage anniversaries.
  • To inform their follow-up date for their surgery.
  • Informing new updates in treatment / fee structure etc.

The above factors will help keep in touch with regular visiting patient and it would give a positive effect on the patient that there is ‘feeling of care’ towards their health.

Feedback Mechanism At OPD

An efficient feedback mechanism at the OPD will help understand patients’ requirement in clinical and supportive services. This mechanism can be designed through placing visible suggestion registers / box, collecting information through well-designed questionnaire, by nominating active enumerator and forming Regular Patients Association (RPA) at the base hospital. A periodical meeting with RPA will gradually eliminate dissatisfaction among patients. At the same time, the feedback information will also help streamline working system according to latest requirements to serve better in this competitive environment.

Eliminating The Gaps

Normally, doctors are busy with their working schedules and surgeries. They may not be able to answer all queries raised by the patients, resulting in less communication. To eliminate such gaps and to increase the feeling of care to the patient, hospitals can create a ‘feeling mechanism’, like recognising the patient from previous visit, enquiring on their family members, their health etc. Say for example, the doctor can note down health or personal problems of the patient’s family at the corner of the medical record. He can recollect the information and enquire about that at the time of next visit. Such mechanism definitely helps.

The writer is Hospital Administrator, Chettinad Medical College Hospitals and Research Centre, Chennai

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