Being in charge of an organization as large as a hospital can be stressful, but it also comes with its fair share of rewards. Many healthcare administrators have been in the field for years and have learned much about patient care. And what it takes to provide the best services to their patients and staff.
According to Merriam-Webster, an administrator is a person who organizes and manages an institution, program, etc. Many individuals fall under this category in healthcare facilities, all of whom play an integral role in how healthcare organizations are run and how patient care is managed and improved. Here are some ways healthcare administrators can improve patient care.
- Enhanced Training
There is a wealth of information and resources available online, but it’s important to note that not all resources are created equal. Many types of training are available for healthcare professionals, including in-person training, self-learning courses, webinars, and more. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks. For example, in-person training offers the best opportunity for peer learning and discussions with other professionals from around the country or world. However, depending on your location, they can be expensive and time-consuming.
While many self-learning courses are available online, it’s worth researching which ones are highly recommended by experts in the field to avoid wasting money on subpar programs. For example, if you appreciate gathering data, organizing, listening and working closely with patients to help them locate and take advantage of essential health services, working in Public health might be a good fit for you. Their work serves as a link between communities and healthcare facilities. Their major role is to make it simpler for community members to receive essential health services.
Many institutions like Ohio University offer flexible and efficient education. For example, employed students looking to further their careers in public health now prefer a masters of public health online over a campus-based program to save time and continue working. Such degrees provide an excellent balance between depth and breadth regarding coverage topics like quality improvement, evidence-based practice, data management, population health management, policy development/analysis and evaluation methods, ethics/legislation/public law, and leadership skills.
- Improved Communication
Healthcare administrators can improve patient care by setting up a system to communicate effectively. It includes ensuring all staff members know who to contact if they need anything and what information they can share. A system that ensures each staff member knows their supervisor and the patient’s main point of contact is also helpful. Finally, it allows for better communication between departments, patients, and their families.
Healthcare administrators need to have good communication skills. There are many ways to improve communication with your staff and patients, but here are a few simple things you can do
Keep it short. Sometimes, a person needs a quick update, so keep your updates brief and concise.
Stick to the point. When communicating in person or through email/texts, stick to the topic instead of getting distracted by other things.
- Improved Documentation
Make sure your documentation is in order and updated. It includes keeping medical records up to date so you can be on top of any issues. Improved documentation will help you streamline the process, improve efficiency and make it easier for those who need to access the information. It will also help ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations.
You’ll also want to ensure a consistent process for creating, storing, and sharing medical records. It means having a written record-keeping policy and developing a way to share medical records with other staff members, patients, and their families.
Implementing an electronic health record system can help keep track of information and make it easier to share with others. However, you’ll need to weigh your options carefully to pick one that will work best for your organization based on costs, data security needs, and who else is using it.
- Take online appointments and reduce wait times
Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals are under a lot of pressure to see as many patients as possible during their shifts. Unfortunately, this often leads to long wait times for appointments. Consequently, some people miss their appointments or wait hours before being seen by a doctor or nurse. To help reduce the waiting time for these valuable services, healthcare administrators should implement online appointment scheduling software and use it whenever possible. This software is designed to streamline the process by eliminating spending time talking with patients trying to schedule an appointment. In addition, it reduces the number of missed appointments because it’s more convenient for patients to book an appointment online than on the phone with a human operator.
- Utilize TeamSTEPPS
TeamSTEPPS is a nine-step program designed to teach healthcare providers how to work together. Developed by the Department of Defense, TeamSTEPPS has successfully improved patient safety and patient outcomes. As healthcare administrators, ensuring that your staff is trained to work as a team is important. TeamSTEPPS offers a variety of resources for different types of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dental providers, and more. In addition to the online training courses available from the TeamSTEPPS website, various in-person training events are held throughout the year.
- Use ultrasound machines
One way healthcare administrators can improve patient care is by using ultrasound machines. Ultrasound machines are low-cost, a non-invasive diagnostic tool that helps provide medical professionals with the information they need to make an accurate diagnosis. When providing high-quality, affordable healthcare, ultrasound machines are one of the best tools in the doctor’s armamentarium.
Ultrasound machines use sound waves to examine various structures within a patient’s body. The reflected sound waves are then analyzed and shown as images on a screen. These images show doctors exactly what they need to know to make an accurate diagnosis, which is essential in improving patient care.
- Monitor discharges carefully
Monitoring discharges carefully is one-way healthcare administrators can improve patient care. They will need to ensure their discharge instructions are clear and understandable and that they have arranged for someone to help the patient with transportation or other needs.
If the hospital does not have a social worker on staff, it is important to arrange a visit from one as soon as possible. Hospital staff should also monitor the patient’s condition after discharge and follow up if any changes occur.
It’s not easy to be the head of patient care in any medical facility, especially if that facility treats patients with sensitive medical conditions or terminal illnesses. But, no matter how well you run your business or how good your medical professionals are at what they do, there’s always room for improvement in patient care as long as you have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. In these ways mentioned above, healthcare administrators can improve patient care and give you that knowledge and those skills so that you can start making your work easier to do and improve the quality of service you provide to your patients with every passing day.