Healthcare costs are rising, medical errors are more prevalent than ever, and the number of insured Americans is getting higher too. These factors all point to the need to improve the quality of U.S. healthcare.
Many efforts are underway to improve quality outcomes in today’s healthcare landscape. These include coordinating care, improving safety and effectiveness, reducing costs, and evaluating efforts to redesign care.
If you want to improve the quality of your healthcare, you may find the following tips helpful.
1. Investing in sustainable energy sources
The medical industry can reduce costs using sustainable energy sources like solar or wind power. As a result, fossil fuel power is less needed, which reduces the need for energy production.
With hospitals requiring a lot of energy and power, utilizing more environmentally friendly methods will increase energy independence and reduce carbon footprint. It will also lower harmful gas emissions such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. By doing so, we can prevent early deaths, cardiac arrests, asthma flare-ups, and hospitalizations caused by respiratory disorders.
2. Promoting social justice
A social justice approach to the healthcare system implies equal treatment for all individuals, regardless of ethnicity, age, race, or color. According to this view, everyone deserves equal opportunities and rights, including healthy living. Despite this, there are still health inequities due to unnecessary, unjust, and preventable causes.
Prioritizing social justice in health care will eliminate inequalities and reduce unnecessary deaths and diseases in less fortunate sections of society.
Education can help implement it. Today’s ever-changing demographic prospects require nurses with advanced skills and qualifications to care for diverse populations.
3. Using electric vehicles instead of gasoline-powered ambulances.
Electrical ambulances can travel up to 110 miles before recharging and reach a maximum speed of 75 mph. This vehicle reduces harmful emissions by replacing traditional ambulances.
Because electric ambulances operate only on electricity, they do not require fuel, which offsets their high initial costs. This means that the healthcare organization can allocate a portion of the savings towards other areas that need additional funding, such as hiring more staff or investing in medical equipment.
4. Raising patient awareness
The importance of awareness is crucial for preventing diseases, detecting them early, providing personalized care, and ensuring that the treatment is effective. People must be aware of diseases and their symptoms to avoid them and get screened, tested, and checked as soon as they know what it is.
Patients should also be educated about their medical decisions’ environmental impact. If the patient has not used any medication, nor do they intend to use it, the pharmacy can properly dispose of and recycle these drugs.
5. Transportation to hospitals
It is important to encourage patients and staff to use more sustainable modes of transportation from and to hospitals. Not only will it promote and protect their health, but traffic accidents and pollution from vehicles and sedentary lifestyles will be reduced.
Consequently, this practice will ensure the safety and health of the urban environment.
In the case of appointments that do not require immediate medical care, people can use public transport, such as buses or trains, thereby reducing pollution caused by private transportation.
6. Preventing surprise medical billing
Approximately one in five Americans will find a surprise medical bill from a professional not covered by their insurance.
Policymakers and industry representatives must deal with this issue head-on to ensure that patients are not penalized for receiving out-of-network care without their consent. The fear of an unexpected hospital or doctor bill should not prevent people from seeking care.
7. Reducing the cost of medicines
In the United States, prescription drugs remain too expensive and out of reach for many people. Due to access issues and healthcare professionals switching to substandard drugs, dramatic increases in drug prices lead to high outpatient costs and decreased appropriate drug treatment.
It is essential to lower drug prices to control health care costs, which determine affordability, accessibility, and outcomes. This can be achieved by increasing competition so that costs can be lowered and savings can be passed on to patients.
8. Normalizing telemedicine
Telehealth means video call platforms, which allow doctors to schedule appointments and conferences without traveling, thus reducing fossil fuel consumption. It is a convenient tool for appointments that don’t require any physical examination.
Prescreening patients for the flu, COVID-19, influenza and other infectious diseases is crucial. Moreover, it eliminates the need for sick people to attend office visits. Also, telehealth saves time by reducing the need for appointments with doctors and specialists. It can also minimize traveling costs by bringing primary doctors and specialists together virtually.
It is estimated that 75% of patients have telehealth services available but don’t use them because they’re unaware they exist or aren’t equipped with the necessary technology. Health care innovations, such as telehealth, have become more robust in recent years, so providers and patients must adopt these innovations to increase access to care in the future.
9. Giving patients transparency without putting them at risk
Many levels in the healthcare system should be transparent to promote better quality and consistency of care.
Additionally, it can significantly enhance patient trust and overall relationships between patients and their providers, thereby improving the chances of better outcomes and patient satisfaction in the long run. Transparency highlights the importance of providing patients and consumers with better information that empowers them to make better, more informed health care decisions.
Nevertheless, it should not increase the cost of healthcare or compromise their privacy in any way.
10. Reducing the amount of paper used
There is a growing movement in healthcare organizations to reduce the amount of paper generated in the office. In addition to being environmentally friendly, reducing paper consumption will save you money in the long run, improve the aesthetics of your workspace, and improve the security of your office information.
Over the next decade, the U.S. health care sector could save up to $15 billion by implementing more environmentally friendly practices within the industry, just by taking a few simple steps.
For example, a hospital in the United States could save millions of dollars each year by implementing energy efficiency initiatives, reducing waste, and making environmentally responsible purchases. Preventing surprise billing, raising patient awareness, and promoting social justice are all steps toward improving health quality.
Additionally, utilizing cost-effective means like telemedicine, electrical ambulances, and making medicine more easily accessible can make a big difference in health care.