Most patients today value the idea of having information concerning their procedures, diagnosis, and even payments. Finding a hospital that openly states how they handle their patients and costs, gives an assurance to patients that they are in the right hands. There is no feeling as bad as going through procedures and emerging discontented and worse still handling a bill you were not prepared for. To avoid such frustrations it is crucial to realize that transparency between the hospital and the patient is essential across the healthcare spectrum. It entails everything, from how information is shared with the patients and how data is collected and analyzed by the hospital.
Transparency creates a trusted relationship between the patients and the hospital, therefore, improving the accuracy of the data collected and the outcome. Clarity also aids the hospital in collecting clear information as they offer their services to the patient. So is there a way we can improve the openness of our healthcare systems to enable a system that offers quality and value in the lives of patients?
- The first step to improving healthcare transparency is ensuring that the necessary information can be publicly helpful rather than effortlessly available. Generally, hospital outcomes can be complex for a patient with no knowledge to interpret them; hence the hospital can find ways to make the information easier to understand. In addition, hospitals can ensure that public reporting needs are supplemented with other policy interventions.
- A hospital must acknowledge that openness alone is insufficient. While openness is a critical value in healthcare transparency, its aim should be on other important goals such as safety, healthcare value, good quality, and developing good relationships between the patient and the hospital.
- The information should be delivered to the patients with empathy and compassion. Health-related information should be shared professionally and in detail. One of the most critical steps the hospital can take advantage of while implementing healthcare transparency is improving communication skills.
- The hospital should invest time and resources to achieve top-notch transparency items.
Why is HealthCare Crucial for Both Patients and Hospitals?
It is crucial to note that there is a value added when hospitals take a step towards being open about their services. It not only assists in improving the lives of patients but also in growing the reputation and customers receiving the hospital’s services. So, what are the benefits that are associated with offering transparency in healthcare treatment for both the hospital and the patient?
Healthcare transparency improves the quality of service in hospitals.
Clarity keeps the hospital on its toes, and this is because the whole process is accounted for, from the performance to the outcomes. This, however, would be more practical if the patients had a clear understanding of the flow of the process and all the analyses taken. Hence the hospitals should develop new ideas to ensure that all the statistics are easily understandable to the patients, thus, effortless accountability.
It promotes productivity in the hospital.
Having the doctors account for their performance increases their productivity. They are keener on the information they receive from the patients and aim to provide accurate results. The hospitals are challenged to develop new ideas to improve the patients’ experience and maintain and provide them with good services. This benefits the patients and largely influences the outcomes and the final results since the work is efficiently conducted in the hospital.
Transparency can aid in reducing medical bills.
Price transparency in medical billing is vital since it helps patients understand what they should expect from the hospital. It also helps them decide if there are affordable or even better options in the hospital. Transparency can also influence the hospital to make decisions that reduce administration costs. The administration should also ensure openness in the various departments in the hospitals to control expenditures and aid them in making sound financial decisions.
Having price transparency in medical billing also improves health literacy, where the patients can clearly understand what they are paying for. Below is a summary of the several core elements of adequate transparency in pricing
- Offer patience what they need.
- Provide the information needed by the patients and the doctors
- Base prices on the services offered
- Encourage various treatment options for the patients
- Provide standardized data that accounts for what the patient requires
Loyalty between the team members
Having a transparent institution promotes loyalty among the team members. It fosters unity and thus influences the performance of the hospital at large.
Promotes the Institution’s Brand
A good patient–doctor experience is an excellent way to promote the institution’s brand. The trust developed between the patient and the hospital through transparency can result in positive reviews and referrals of patients. A satisfied patient equals a brand promotion!
Health transparency can take many forms, for example, non-clinical experience, price transparency in medical billing, and quality of the services in the hospital. It can also be affected by various challenges, for instance, in hospitals where the information is treated as a secret or where a specific person is assigned the mandate to access the information. The lack of transparency can cause various issues, such as trust between the patient and the hospital, damaging the company’s reputation, financial scandals, etc. However, maintaining a transparent relationship between patients and the hospital can significantly benefit them, as discussed above.