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Top 4 Ways Patient Care Has Improved Over the Past 10 Years

Top 4 Ways Patient Care Has Improved Over the Past 10 Years

Written by Amrita Surendranath, B.Sc, M.Sc.
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on October 19, 2016 at 11:49 AM
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  • A study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s hospital traces the changes in patient care from 2000 to 2013.
  • This study highlights areas of care that have improved over the years and certain areas which need improvement.
  • Recommended medical treatment, counseling, recommended cancer screening and avoiding unnecessary cancer screening have been better over the years.

The quality of patient care in a hospital is imperative for a patient's wellbeing, both physically as well as emotionally. 46 indicators that aid in understanding the level of outpatient care in the U.S have been identified in a study conducted by Dr. David M Levine from the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The study looked at data from 2000 to 2013, highlighting aspects of medical care that improved over the years. Here are the top 4 ways patient care has improved over the years:

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Top 4 Ways Patient Care Has Improved Over the Past 10 Years

1. Recommended Medical Treatment Increases to 42%

The recommendation of treatment that is deemed necessary for a patient is given by the doctors after careful examination of the patient, the age of the patient, the disease progression and the availability of treatment measures. The study found that there was an increase in the percentage of people who received necessary recommendation for treatment that helped them in their recovery for a specific medical condition.

In 2000, the recommended medical treatment was at 36%, the increase in this measure can be attributed to greater medical care and awareness about patient needs.

2. Recommended Counseling Increases to 50%

Medical counseling is another important measure of patient care. Most patients undergo a lot of mental agony and trauma as a result of the diseases that they are afflicted with. Apart from the aid provided for physical trauma, there are emotional scars that need healing and medical counseling is an important means of support.

Counseling helps patients help themselves while removing feelings of distress and hopelessness. It is an essential form of therapy and the increase in the number of recommended counseling is a sign of better care for patients.

3. Recommended Cancer Screening Increases to 75%

Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality across the world. There are 4 stages in cancer and the fourth and final stage is when cancer cells enter the blood stream and lead to the development of secondary growth in any organ system. The prognosis for patients in the final stage of cancer is very poor. However, identification of cancer during the initial stages aids in better treatment. An increase in recommended cancer screening will aid in detecting the presence of cancer during the first couple of stages.

4. Avoidance of Inappropriate Cancer Screening to 51%

Unnecessary cancer screening is at the other end of the yardstick, where additional screening could increase patient effort and money but will not mount to a need for the service. Apart from the physical exertion, unnecessary screening can increase anxiety associated with waiting for the results. Avoidance of unnecessary screening for cancer increased from 48% to 51%.

The increase in care for patients is due to the earnest dedication of doctors and staff in a hospital. 77% of patients who were asked about their care experience said they highly rated it, which is an increase of 5%.

The study also highlights certain areas which did not show any improvement like avoidance of inappropriate imaging (90%), Diabetes care recommendations (68%) and recommended diagnostic and preventive testing (76%).

The only areas of concern were the use of inappropriate medical treatments, which lowered from 92% to 89%, and inappropriate antibiotic use avoidance decreased from 50% to 44%.

The patient care provided by hospitals is an essential support that encompasses diagnostic services, treatment of diseases or injury, rehabilitation and improvement of health. While the necessary precaution should be exerted in diagnosing the patient correctly and detecting the presence of disease conditions early, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary diagnostic or imaging methods, as highlighted in the study.

Source: Medindia

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