By – Senu Sam Founder & CEO of Mykare Health
Healthcare is a fundamental human need that has been prioritised throughout history. The value of healthcare is often discussed in terms of cost, access, and quality. However, the worth of healthcare can only be truly appreciated when seen through the eyes of patients’ well-being. Also, the primary goal of healthcare is to improve patients’ well-being. It is not just about treating diseases, but about enabling patients to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
One of the most important aspects of patients’ well-being is access to healthcare services. In many countries, access to healthcare is limited due to economic, social, and political factors. This lack of access can lead to patients’ well-being being compromised. Quality healthcare services are also crucial for improving patients’ well-being. Quality healthcare services are those that are safe, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient, and equitable.
A handy guide to patient centric healthcare
The provision of healthcare services that promote patients’ well-being requires a patient-centred approach. Healthcare providers must listen to patients’ concerns, involve them in care decisions, and provide them with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their health. Here’s how patient-centric care can be promoted.
A drive towards culturally sensitive healthcare: Healthcare services that promote patients’ well-being must also be culturally sensitive. Patients come from diverse backgrounds, and their cultural beliefs and practices must be taken into account when providing care. Healthcare providers must be aware of cultural differences and adapt care delivery to meet patients’ needs.
An inclusive treatment plan that involves patients, family and caregivers: Another critical aspect of patients’ well-being is the involvement of families and caregivers in care decisions. Families and caregivers are often key players in patients’ care, providing emotional and practical support. Healthcare providers must recognise the importance of families and caregivers and involve them in care decisions.
Evaluation of treatment based on the scaling of a patient’s well being: Finally, the worth of healthcare can only be truly appreciated when patients’ well-being is measured and evaluated. Healthcare systems must use patient-centred outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of care delivery. These outcome measures should reflect patients’ physical, mental, and social well-being, as well as their quality of life.
Dealing with the challenges faced by patient-centric healthcare in India
Patient-centric care is a healthcare approach that focuses on the needs, preferences, and values of patients. While patient-centric care is gaining popularity in India, there are still several challenges that need to be addressed.
Lack of awareness: The concept of patient-centric care is still new in India, and many patients and healthcare providers are not aware of its benefits.
Limited access to healthcare: In India, access to healthcare is limited, particularly in rural areas. Many patients do not have access to healthcare services, which makes it challenging to provide patient-centric care.
Limited resources: The healthcare system in India is underfunded, and there is a shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly in rural areas.
Cultural and language barriers: India is a diverse country with many different cultures and languages. This diversity can create barriers to patient-centric care, particularly when healthcare providers are not familiar with the patient’s language or culture.
Limited patient participation: Patients in India may be hesitant to participate in their care decisions due to cultural and social norms.
Advanced ways by which patient-centric care can be enhanced are:
Use of technology: Technology can play a significant role in enhancing patient-centric care in India. Telemedicine, mobile health apps, and electronic health records can improve access to healthcare services and provide patients with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their health.
Patient education: Educating patients about their health and the importance of patient-centric care can improve patient participation in their care decisions. Patient education can be provided through health literacy programs, health camps, and community outreach programs.
Multidisciplinary care teams: A multidisciplinary approach to patient care can improve patient outcomes and enhance patient-centric care. Healthcare providers from different specialties can work together to provide comprehensive care that addresses the patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs.
Cultural competency training: Healthcare providers should receive cultural competency training to understand the patient’s cultural and social background. This leads to care delivery that’s sensitive to the patient’s cultural needs.
Patient feedback: Collecting patient feedback can provide healthcare providers with valuable information about the patient’s experience with patient-centric care.
Overall, it is essential to encourage healthcare providers that keep patient centric care in their core focus and offer convenient, personalised, and affordable healthcare services. As more patients embrace this patient-centric approach to healthcare, the overall health of the population in India is expected to improve, leading to a healthier, happier society.