Highly rated hospitals have certain things in common. According to the U.S. News and World Report, these hospitals focus on risk-adjusted survival, readmission rates, patient safety, quality of nursing, patient experience, and volumes, among other things. Why do they emphasize these areas? How do they perform at a high level consistently? The following features serve as the top five traits seen in the best hospitals in America today.
As Morrison Healthcare will tell you, putting patients first means more than saying the words. Every department and every interaction with a patient must make this a priority to transform healthcare and make it the best possible today. This involves simple things, such as ensuring patients know where they need to go, and more complex ones, like ensuring clinicians have the enterprise technology they need to do their job. They must take every action with an understanding of how it will affect the patients. A patient-centric mindset allows these facilities to stand out in the crowd, as they don’t overlook any aspect of patient care, right down to the food being served to these individuals.
When a healthcare facility adopts a patient-centric mindset, they put their patients above all else. Budgets, efficiency, and other factors move down on the list as the workers focus on each person as an individual. No two people are alike, which is why the needs and unique expectations of each patient must come first. Each facility must function efficiently while making patients a priority.
Patients rarely enter the hospital willingly. They realize this is their last resort if they wish to get better. However, they want to be comfortable while staying in the facility, and healthcare workers must recognize this. The workers need to reassure patients that they will be okay and explain what they are doing and why. It’s nice to have someone on your side when you are facing a healthcare crisis that requires hospitalization. Excellent healthcare facilities employ individuals who understand this and make empathy a major component of their treatment. The workers must recognize each patient as an individual rather than a condition or disease, and the patient and their loved ones receive the same level of care that they would provide to a healthcare worker and their loved ones.
Outstanding healthcare facilities demand excellence on the part of their employees. Every person working within the organization remains committed to this goal or they don’t have a job for very long. Staff members review everything they do routinely and have measures in place to achieve this goal. They make use of lean methodologies, new technologies, and process improvements to ensure they are meeting the needs of their patients, and this occurs at every level of the organization. The administration uses the same methods as the janitors to ensure the highest level of care and deliver the best outcomes. As a result, the health of the community improves.
Thanks to ongoing research and advances in technology, the field of medicine continues to evolve. Every person working in the industry must recognize this and be willing to take risks. Innovation remains key to providing the best care, and healthcare facilities must invest in new things to take their organization to the next level. For instance, state-of-the-art technologies need implementation along with evidence-based treatments. Today, machines become of great help in aiding the diagnosis of patients. Facilities must invest in this technology, train employees in its use, and use it fully to benefit patients and improve outcomes. Organizations that make innovation a priority find they are better able to care for patients that come to them in a time of need.
The global pandemic highlights the need for innovation in healthcare. Overnight, individuals found they couldn’t see their doctor as easily, as they had to take precautions to protect their health while still getting medical care. This led to an increase in telehealth visits, which many patients benefit from. They can remain in the comfort of their home and not risk being exposed to the virus in a healthcare facility. However, this serves as only one of many ways innovation is changing the way healthcare is delivered today. At-home monitoring devices are another, as patients can track certain things at home and share this information with their doctor. This allows for changes in the treatment plan that otherwise would have been delayed until the next office visit.
Healthcare facilities likewise need to prioritize communication among care teams. Effective communication ensures the needs of patients are met in a timely manner. In addition, it allows providers to ensure patients are receiving high-quality care safely. Meaningful communication means not only a top-down, bottom-up approach to ensure everyone is on the same page, but communication across all departments. When communication is good both horizontally and vertically, patient care improves. An open-door policy at every level of the organization remains critical to achieving this goal, and everyone must embed communication into the fabric of the organization.
This extends beyond communication among healthcare works. Patients and their loved ones need to be a part of the process as well. From taking a patient history to communicating information about a loved one to health care professionals when the patient can not speak for themselves, every person involved with the patient must prioritize this exchange. This means healthcare facilities need to work with patients to overcome language barriers and other obstacles to exchange information. A failure to do so leads to a decline in inpatient care.
The best healthcare facilities make patients a priority while providing compassionate care to all who walk through the doors. These organizations strive for excellence at all times and use innovation to forward this goal. The facilitation of communication ensures everyone remains on the same page as well. When these factors come together, patients receive the highest level of care, which is why the men and women who work in healthcare went into this field in the first place. They want to make lives better. By focusing on these five elements, they can do so every day.