Quality management in the healthcare sector is one of the most crucial, multi-dimensional, and subjective tasks. It demands loyalty, productivity, patient satisfaction, and profitability. Quality management in the healthcare sector is still a novel concept, as most hospitals fail to meet basic standards. Suppose someone from your family and friends is sick and injured. You would naturally expect that they are in the most trustable hands in the hospital. You will find comfort in knowing that the medical professionals are eligible to handle your loved one’s case, and the hospital is capable of providing whatever help necessary.
Generally, quality in the healthcare sector refers to the consistent practice of providing effective, efficient, and valuable healthcare services while following critical standards and meeting patients’ needs. Quality management follows the idea that the delivery of required healthcare services is in the right manner, at the right time.
However, the lack or complete absence of quality healthcare standards leads to undesired results such as death. Presently, the widespread global pandemic has raised alarming concerns regarding quality management in healthcare. Naturally, every healthcare service provider aims to provide premium quality services to patients. However, certain factors may lead to undesired results. This article includes a list of factors that might result affect the quality of healthcare standards.
- Economic conditions
This problem primarily arises in third-world countries where the state’s economic conditions can limit healthcare quality. It can cause problems on both patients’ and healthcare providers’ end, as they may not afford and deliver quality services. Similarly, it can affect the providers as they may face problems in providing healthcare services through the required medicines and equipment.
It is important to mention that a healthcare facility is a comprehensive institution and cannot run without money. Perhaps, in countries where the majority population is underprivileged lack access to quality services. Utilizing taxes and funds can be of essential help here. Still, limitations in funds can result in the facility compromising on healthcare services.
The quality of healthcare services heavily depends upon practitioners’ competency and is directly relative to market demands. For example, if there are many openings for doctors of nursing practice jobs, more people will opt for the degree. As a result, competent and knowledgeable professionals will work in the field. This pinpoints the constant requirement of professional healthcare providers and means to their education and training for improved knowledge and skills in the field.
- Provider’s motivation and satisfaction
Lack of work satisfaction can lead to low motivation levels to provide high-quality healthcare services. Some of the factors that motivate healthcare providers include; competitive salary, positive working environment, managerial leadership, healthcare policies, recognition, job security, etc. These factors play an essential role in stimulating job satisfaction. Notably, healthcare providers with high job satisfaction feel motivated to provide the best healthcare services.
- Resources and facilities
Lack of resources and facilities can have a significant influence on the quality of healthcare services. In the present times, healthcare demands and expectations are too high. However, with limited resources, healthcare providers feel it challenging to maintain the quality of services provided, which leads to low healthcare standards.
Proper infrastructure, equipment, sufficient nursing staff, and the necessary resources are prerequisites for high-quality medical services. For example, an insufficient patient information system can disrupt diagnosis and the overall treatment. Healthcare providers that lack a proper system to save and retrieve patient records safely generally face more significant troubles in patient’s treatment.
- Leadership and management
Healthcare managers play a crucial role in ensuring healthcare quality. They are active participants in organizing, budgeting, controlling, implementing, and evaluating healthcare services. Ineffective or inexperienced management can ruin the service qualities. On the other hand, leaders are the active role players in directing and inspiring the entire healthcare staff through a strong vision. Managers and leaders play an essential role in the healthcare sector and are the major participants of quality service management.
According to studies, an effective leader shapes positive organizational culture and helps in implementing healthcare reforms. National policies regarding healthcare services also play an important role in managing healthcare service quality. Most of the time, national policymakers don’t consider local factors that can affect special cases. In such times, the hospital management is useless as they don’t have the power to change their policies or adapt them according to the situation.
- Patient’s socio-demographic variables
The socio-demographic factor can have a considerable influence on the quality of healthcare service. It affects the interaction between healthcare professionals and patients. For example, patients and doctors with different languages feel it difficult to communicate, resulting in diagnostic challenges.
These difficulties can range from the wrong diagnosis to the patient not understanding medical instructions. Cultural norms of the geographical area play an equally important role. For example, treatment from a male doctor to female patients is taboo in some regions.
The quality of healthcare majorly depends on the healthcare providers, management skills, and the state. These factors play an essential role in increasing or decreasing the healthcare quality. The key is the evaluation of these factors by keeping the patient in mind and maximizing the output. If the national policymakers, state, and the management focus on any gains other than increasing healthcare quality, it can disrupt the whole system.