By Jason Cox, Southeastern Health Vice President and Chief Operating Regional Medical Center Patient care continues to improve every year in hospitals and health systems and that’s no different here at Southeastern Health. Three large trends in health care are driving many of these improvements. Top ways patient care has improved in today’s hospitals: cutting edge technology, the culture of safety, and an emphasis on patient experience. Cutting Edge Technology With the help of technology, we are learning more about ourselves and medicine every day. In 2020, medicine’s body of knowledge is expected to double every 73 days. This is up from every 50 years in 1950 and 7 years in 1980 (Densen, 2011). What does this mean for the patient? This growth in knowledge increases medical breakthroughs and improves patient outcomes at unprecedented rates. This cutting-edge technology is readily available in today’s hospitals. Southeastern Health’s Southeastern Regional Medical Center provides cutting-edge robotic surgery, open heart surgery, medical imaging, and interventional cardiology, to name a few. This state-of-the-art medicine is available right here in Southeastern North Carolina. Culture of Safety Hospitals and health systems realize knowledge alone isn’t itself through culture. Since 1999, hospitals are increasingly shifting their culture towards patient safety and satisfaction. The past few years have seen an acceleration in the adoption of best practices and culture of safety. Hospitals are paying attention to and improving patient safety indicators, patient harm measures, and other quality indicators. Today’s hospitals practice evidence-based protocols to ensure they not only heal patients but prevent them from additional harm from falls, pathogen exposure, etc. Southeastern Health is implementing Epic System’s Electronic Health Record to further improve safety. This enterprise software solution facilitates better coordination of care, standard best practices, and communication between providers. Patient Experience Hospitals are increasingly aware that health care is no longer strictly local. Medical tourism, intense competition, and specialty hospitals are all highlighting the patient’s choice with their health care providers. Additionally, Medicare has placed an increased emphasis on patient satisfaction through its value based purchasing program. Southeastern Regional Medical Center offers a more patient- and family-focused experience. on the patient experience. Patients and families are included as part of the care team. This allows our patients and their families to make more informed decisions about their health care. Southeastern Health is partnering with Press Ganey to elevate and improve its patient experience even further. We are committed to combining industry best practices with good, old-fashion southern hospitality.
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