Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Communication gap

Poor drainage, filthy toilets, and presence of rats – this is the image of most hospitals, both Government and private, in the State. This is particularly seen in most hospitals in Dimapur, including the District Hospital. A bad impression gets created outside that if such is the condition of this prestigious District Hospital what can be the condition of other hospitals in other towns and villages. So, it does not paint a good picture of hospitals in the State. The hospital administration must address these problems so that the patients and their attendants do not suffer. It is not that such problems are in the District Hospital only. Several hospitals do have similar problems, and some of those having even more grave problems. These problems have not surfaced up all of a sudden. The problems are there for long. Because of the callousness of the successive administrations in past, the problems were taken very lightly. If the problems were not taken seriously in the past, those should be taken seriously now. Poor hygiene and lack of cleanliness can affect patient-care also. Maintaining hygiene always helps in preventing infections. The hospitals should not spread infection due to un-cleanliness and poor hygiene. Most staff members meant to keep hospitals clean do their duty with sincerity, and their work gets noticed also. If they were not doing their work, the condition of hospitals would have been very horrible. But lapses in duty by some others send wrong signals. They too must discharge their duties honestly, so that the overall atmosphere of cleanliness prevails. Most doctors and paramedical staff in the District Hospital or other hospitals try their level best to provide better health-care to patients, and their good work is being appreciated by the patients and attendants. While the patients get good care from medical staff, those associated with maintaining cleanliness in hospital must ensure that the patients should not face problems because of any carelessness on their part. The primary responsibility of keeping the hospitals clean is that of the hospital administration. The patients and their attendants should also ensure that the efforts of the authorities do not go wasted. It has been seen in several hospitals that some patients or attendants do not go by the norms to keep hospitals clean. They too have to change their approach for good. Here we need to understand that patient satisfaction is an important and commonly used indicator for measuring the quality in health care; it gives providers insights into various aspects of medicine, including the effectiveness of their care and their level of empathy. What do patients really expect from health care? People don’t want more care – they want right care. People don’t expect perfection, but they demand empathy plus transparency. As the healthcare industry shifts toward patient-centered models, providers will need to fully understand patient satisfaction measures and how they affect their practices. And for patient satisfaction we need to improve our healthcare standards and delivery system. Indeed our healthcare system needs policy review. Now is the time to standardize healthcare system. All around us technological advancements are being made with no exceptions. Modernizing today means future-proofing for tomorrow. Hardly a day goes by without reading about allegations of negligence and counterpoints, quality failure and its impact on patients, their families – a blame game. Much patient dissatisfaction and many complaints are due to breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship. Sure, many doctors are working hard, do their best, but good number of care-providers tend to overestimate their ability in communication. From times immemorial medical profession identified itself as noble practice, and its care providers attained respect in civil society though a trusted doctor-patient relationship. Our doctors are laced with skills of any international repute, but despite hard work and professional competency, the public is losing their trust in them mostly because of gaps in communication skills, sadly not taught in medical schools or any professional courses. Over the years, much has been written on this important topic to bridge the gap between projections and ground reality. Yes, a gap analysis in healthcare is much awaited.