In health and wellness professions, there is often a discrepancy between best practice and actual care. This gap between recommended standards and the treatment patients actually receive are called care gaps. There are several ways gaps in care can occur, including poor patient-provider communication and misinformation. There may also be unintentional exclusions as certain channels utilized by professionals fail to reach people in certain age brackets.
Once you identify care gaps in your profession, there are several ways you can begin to close them.
First of all, you should perform evaluations of staff members regularly to determine how well they are meeting patients’ needs. Oftentimes, weaknesses in care can be a matter of miscommunication rather than personal negligence. Evaluations conducted by managers can help identify where staff care is falling short and provide direction on how to improve. Evaluations for care gaps should not be punitive. Instead, their main purpose is to highlight points of weakness in your business’s current care practices and better equip the staff to meet the standards.
It’s known that a comprehensive road map can close care gaps. Road maps outline the care process, improving communication and offering guidance to professionals. A road map should be simple and flexible. As you learn more about your business’s care gaps, you can adjust your road map to better align with patients’ needs. To create a road map, focus on the core care elements your business wishes to prescribe. These fundamental principles will serve as the basis for every point of operation in your facility. Your road map may have many avenues, but all should help your staff maximize their potential, eliminate barriers and improve treatment outcomes.
Follow-up surveys can help you identify care gaps more easily. You can also use survey responses to gauge the efficacy of road maps and better meet your patients’ needs. Sometimes, a business struggles to identify its core mission. Patient surveys can offer a greater perspective on what people truly want from you and offer suggestions on how you could improve.
Ultimately, your care gaps are just another challenge to face as a provider. There will always be some obstacles to overcome, but consistency is key. The greater you focus on listening to your patients, the better you’ll become at meeting their needs head-on.
Care gaps may be frustrating for those impacted by them, but there are things like these you can do to help make them less of a problem. If you keep these tips in mind, you will be able to help your business reach its highest potential and improve the quality of your care for every patient.