No Margin, No Mission
Our mutual goal as healthcare professionals, as noted by the HSE’s Integrated Care Programme for Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease, is “to design an integrated model of care that treats patients at the lowest level of complexity that is safe, timely, efficient and as close to home as possible”, but how does that translate in real terms?
It has long been established that healthcare providers, from large-scale hospitals to homecare clinicians, face the eternal challenge of providing high quality and easily accessible services to their patients. With the unquestionable and unstoppable arrival of increased consumerism in the field of healthcare, this issue has only become more urgent. Increased access to knowledge on the patient-side and increased competition on the provider-side results in a very basic economic issue for providers. How do we lower the level of costs, while improving the quality of service?
For large-scale providers, the issue also deepens with vital considerations which must be given to the frontline healthcare workforce, at the coalface of this increasingly demanding challenge. In their latest report “Top health industry issues of 2018: A year for resilience amid uncertainty” PwC Health Research noted that “73 percent of provider executives say balancing patient satisfaction and employee job satisfaction is a barrier to efforts to improve the patient experience.” Despite being a ‘barrier’, this consideration can certainly be managed through engaging staff in additional training and promoting values. There is again, unsurprisingly, a financial outlay to this.
Add to this the harmful financial impact of patient no-shows, waiting list penalty charges, spiralling administration costs and a demographic tsunami that’s hitting developed countries’ health systems, it becomes painfully apparent that potentially avoidable expenses are escalating for healthcare providers across all levels, on a daily basis.