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Know Who You Are | Know Thyself

Six Factors Affecting Healthcare Service Quality

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What are healthcare services? These services consist of medical professionals and organizations that work together to provide medical care to those in need. Emergency, palliative, rehabilitative, diagnostic, preventative, and home care services are also available. These programs were geared toward providing high-quality care that is easily accessible to all. The healthcare system addresses many challenges, including primary care, outpatients, emergency patients, etc.

Many people use these specific services while they are ill in general. Some people may only require a few of these services, while others, such as the elderly, may require all of these services to meet their medical needs. It is difficult to provide the same quality of healthcare service at all times because of the factor “heterogeneity.” This factor exists because a versatile group delivers healthcare to physicians, surgeons, nurses, therapists, etc. Each one of them has different levels of education, experience, and personality. It makes it challenging to reproduce consistent healthcare facilities. Therefore, healthcare professionals should receive continuing education so that they are up to date with the latest techniques and methods.

They can go for different post-graduation programs such as fellowship programs, Ph.D., EdD, etc. E-learning has benefited society greatly by being easily accessible. It helps in connecting with professionals belonging to the same field globally. Various online programs are available such as medical assistant (AOS), health service management (BS),  online DNP programs, and other terminal degrees.  The prime goal of all medical professionals is to provide high-quality service to everyone. There are certain patients, physician, and environmental-related factors that affect the healthcare service quality, such as:

1. Patient’s socio-demographic variable:

There is a significant impact of a patient’s socio-demographic status on healthcare. A physician should always consider different types of cultures. Sometimes it gets challenging to make them understand your point of view or treatment modalities. The physician should be aware of different cultural norms to provide good quality healthcare service. They should adjust their communication skills as per the patient’s socio-demographic variable. At times physicians suggest palliative treatment for any condition. At the same time, the patient is persistent in taking medicines because they have the concept that only medication can heal them. It affects the treatment plan and health service. The doctors feel useless even to explain the consequences because the patients are not cooperative.

2. Patients’ cooperation:

A good quality healthcare service requires the cooperation of the patient and the physician. If the doctor does his job, but the patient doesn’t follow or cooperate, there are higher chances of treatment failure. An excellent clinical outcome requires the patient’s ability to comprehend the instructions and follow them. Sometimes, the patients don’t share details that can impact their health, such as underlying critical diseases. Physicians also complain that some patients don’t follow the instructions and take medicines on time. They instead take them whenever they feel like it. In such conditions, the physicians have to choose alternative methods that might not harm the patients.

3. Physician’s socio-demographic variable:

Physicians’ personality and communication skills play an essential role in the quality of healthcare service. Research has proven that medical doctors who respect patients and treat them confidently tend to develop good rapport more quickly. Sometimes income also impacts the behavior of physicians. Those working in public hospitals with high patient flow pay less attention to their communication skills. Other than that, personal life also affects the physician’s service quality. Those that are content with their personal lives appear to be more driven to work.

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4. Physicians expertise:

Healthcare service quality is mainly dependent on physician’s expertise. The more knowledgeable the physician is, the more capable he is of providing good quality care to the patients. Therefore, it is always advisable to opt for continuous education. It helps in professional development. Medical practitioners who are more skilled and updated are capable of understanding patient’s needs more efficiently. They are proficient at delivering high-quality care using newer methods and techniques. Other than that, with continuous education, they are capable of handling critical situations with ease.

5. Supplies and facilities:

In most parts of the world, the demand for medical services is high, but the resources are low. Availability of supplies on time dramatically influences the healthcare service quality. Insufficient resources, dysfunctional types of equipment, shortage of staff members are common healthcare system problems. Hence the expectations of the patients are not met efficiently.

6. Collaboration and teamwork:

An efficient and knowledgeable staff manages a healthcare system like the team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and others who operate as a strong team around the clock to meet the needs of patients. And provide them with high-quality care. As a result, close collaboration is necessary for effective performance. Any failure is the responsibility and accountability of every practitioner.

Conclusion:

Healthcare service utilization is a right for all, but it’s not accessible to everyone. Numerous factors affect the quality of healthcare services. Some of these factors are remediable, while others are difficult to change. Hence healthcare practitioners should be considerate while treating the patients, as they have high expectations from them. Good quality healthcare service is a right for all, and may we all utilize it.

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