Easy access and quality care are two essential aspects of healthcare. Without these two, the concepts of saving lives and ensuring safety are as good as gone. Fortunately, after decades of sluggishness and repercussions, the demand for cost-effective and premium-quality care is now beginning to be fulfilled. As of now, we’re providing meaningful healthcare, have plenty of innovative medical models in the wing, and a bucket full of professional and experienced healthcare providers.
However, even with all these great signs of progress, problems related to healthcare access continue to rise. Although many variables can restrict access to healthcare, it is fair to say that the majority are linked to social, cultural, financial, and geographic problems. As a result, patients cannot receive the care they need.
While there are countless ways to fill these access-related gaps, we’ve highlighted a few important and effective ways hospitals can make a difference.
Use mobile clinics
Mobile clinics are quite popular these days among healthcare facilities. They include clinics that offer preventive, primary, or dental care services through a truck, van, or bus equipped with the necessary items. Additionally, these are staffed by nurses, physicians, community health workers, and other healthcare experts. Through this service, patients from all around the country can gain easy access to care. Furthermore, mobile clinics can easily serve all areas, including urban and rural. According to a reliable estimate, 700+ mobile health clinics are presently operating in the United States, and the benefits of this service are off the scale.
So, if your healthcare facility wants to start a mobile clinic, utilize the mobile medical clinic business plan to make up for what you lack. Remember that strategic planning of a few key aspects, such as finance, marketing, design, location, and population, will help you make the most of this project. Plus, you’ll provide a solid and reliable means of accessing healthcare.
Build a balanced team
Good team members should come from various backgrounds and have a range of abilities and knowledge. The IHI states that one of the most important strategies for improving healthcare access is putting together a balanced team. A clinical specialist with the background required to make wise clinical judgments should be on the project. There should also be a project manager who can handle day-to-day responsibilities and keep the team on track. The senior leader should be able to advise, oversee, and advocate for the team.
Create an educational website
Clinic crowding might prevent patients from having sufficient access to healthcare treatments. Besides, not everyone waiting in line at the hospital is in dire need of medical assistance. Some people wish to ask simple queries that shouldn’t require a doctor’s help. It will prove cost-effective and time-saving to set up an extensive website where patients can learn about illnesses and ask quick questions.
A good medical website should provide details on common health concerns such as side effects, symptoms, and when a doctor’s visit is necessary. Patients should be able to ask for information that isn’t available on the internet in a section designated for inquiries.
Set up joint medical appointments
The inability to provide care for every patient who requests it is a significant issue for healthcare facilities. Since many people share similar disorders, hospitals can establish a system where patients are grouped and given shared consultations. It would be especially practical for illnesses like asthma and diabetes, with comparable patient-level care strategies. By allowing clinicians to attend to 10–20 patients at once.
One of the sectors that have benefitted most from recent technological improvements is healthcare. Healthcare availability has improved significantly, in addition to medical procedures’ precision and success rate. Currently, doctors can provide medical care without having to meet the patient in reality.
Doctors can give their clients medical advice on treating conditions they have been diagnosed with to tackle them effectively. Both the healthcare provider and the patient can benefit from this. The doctor can make videos and share them with many patients, saving the patient and the doctor from having to travel to the clinic repeatedly.
Make scheduling an appointment simple
Let’s exemplify: You’re a patient with a speaking problem or a hearing impairment trying to make an appointment by calling your preferred healthcare facility.
Patients are bound to experience busy signals, confusing phone trees, and long wait times in these situations. However, a way to ease the situation is to schedule appointments via email or online. There are a lot of ways through which patients can book their appointments.
Hospitals can take advantage of this and ease scheduling options while improving access to healthcare. Plus, this practice lessens the workload at the front desk and cuts down on wait times and busy signals.
Use health IT to improve patient outcomes
Given the problems faced by medically underserved and low-income communities in accessing healthcare, using IT tools may help make a difference. IT tools can improve access to healthcare by enhancing patient knowledge.
Moreover, a new generation of digital tools is being developed to better engage patients during, before, and after treatment to encourage positive behaviors and speedy recoveries. Consider these systems as “digital docents” that effortlessly walk patients through every healthcare process and help them integrate proactive wellness practices into their daily life. Such digital platforms are crucial for health systems and hospitals that serve medically marginalized communities but also have relatively low health results.
Increased physician hours
Since not all patients can see a doctor during business hours, more doctors must work extra or irregular hours. They must also cooperate with local clinics or forge alliances within their practices to better serve their patients.
The rising demand in the workplace is a barrier to obtaining care merely because of the hours of operation in the current economy, where many people work multiple jobs to survive. As a result, collaborating with a retail clinic for after-hours care can aid in maintaining a link to the primary care physician. It can also offer continuity in care and lower the need for unduly trips to the emergency room.
So, that concludes our list of strategies by which hospitals can improve healthcare access and create better health outcomes in the process. Whether it’s about diving deep into a certain matter or helping patients get their appointments, hospitals can eradicate barriers by making themselves more available to people with various health problems. Moreover, the above-said strategies are excellent places to start if you want your hospital to be on top of the access game.