Improving patient safety in healthcare is an important and hugely researched topic and rightfully so. Patient Safety in Healthcare should be the ultimate goal of healthcare practitioners, healthcare organizations, doctors, clinicians alike. There are different healthcare practices that can and have been applied to patient safety in healthcare, some of these practices, their definitions, the roles they play, and they are used are mentioned below.

Using Patient Care Management

Patient care management is a system put in place by health organizations to improve patient care by helping both caregivers and patients manage health conditions. This helps reduce the need for medical services and cost for patients. Patient Care Management is especially important for patients with complex health care need as they account for a high percentage of annual medical expenditures and use of resources.

There are various ways that Patient care management can be made more efficient and applied to patient safety.These ways have been discussed countless times by health scholars and in health organizations. From improvement through Evidence-Based care and improvement though fostering Doctor-Patient relationships these methods all add to the wealth of knowledge health practitioners and clinicians can improve patient care management.

When talking about improving doctor-patient relationships, the first step is to foster this partnership by establishing patient’s trust. Until this trust is established, other much-needed progress cannot be made in building the relationship. A good working relationship and trust between doctor, nurse, caregiver etc and a patient will carve a path for improved patient involvement and the use of educational tools by patients for better understanding. When a patient becomes savvy about their care needs and also trust their caregiver, care management becomes efficient and uses fewer resources and time.

Using Patient Engagement

Patient engagement can be explained as patients working together with healthcare providers, doctors, nurses, clinicians etc to improve their health. In patient engagement, the patients are involved in the process and take a more active role in their treatment. When there is active engagement of a patient it contributed to improved health outcomes. Most patients want to be engaged in their healthcare decision-making process as the more involved they are the better the outcome. Using information technology and data can further help doctors in increasing patient engagement.

Patient engagement and efforts to improve it is most effective when it’s driven by the patient care team. A patient care team usually contains individuals who are patient-facing every day. A patient care team is a group of physicians and caregivers from diverse fields who communicate with each other regularly about the care of a group of patients who are receiving care from them under a patient care management program.

Using A Patient Care Team

A Patient care team is usually required in patient care management and is vital in patient engagement especially for chronic diseases or for long stay patients. For a group of healthcare practitioners to constitute a patient care team, they would have to have explicitly defined roles and meet regularly in patient care. These teams usually cross practice and organizational boundaries for example general surgery practitioners and neurosurgery. This cross-disciplinary care teams sometimes could experience communication nightmares, power struggle or disagreement in decision making this is why quality data and data management is essential for proper patient engagement. Also in a patient care team, there are nonmedical staff members that perform supplementary functions. Some of these functions are paperwork, logistics, giving injections, taking patient blood pressure, lab work, nursing care, MRI scans, patient counseling, etc. These functions could be performed by doctors but that would be inefficient as it takes away time from performing the other complex functions that require a high skill level and most of all they would take away from patient-facing time which is important for patient engagement.

Using Clinical Analytics
The importance of the role analytics plays in the industry cannot be overemphasized. Clinical analytics plays an important role in scalable, sustainable quality improvement. Data is a vital component of patient safety and quality. In recent years, Healthcare Analytics has been seen as the next big invention and the advancement that will take the healthcare industry to the next level. However, as with every major step done on a large scale, there have been some setbacks. Many systems have been attempting to implement healthcare analytics in a haphazard and inferior way. For example, many vendors have been selling short-term point solutions which address just a narrow set of needs and do not establish a fundamental approach to analytics that will be sustainable and thrive as more and bigger data is being analyzed.