Best practice means following the best-established method to solve a particular problem. It is a term that is applied in many fields, including environmental management and higher education.
The term best practice is bandied about all the time in medical circles. But what does that actually mean on the ground? There are five key themes which most agree on capture what best practice is all about.
The best medical practices have safety at the center of their culture. Any medical clinic should be a place in which patients are kept safe from harm.
This means that the reporting of any incidents has to be able to give a clear picture of any institution’s safety record. When there are incidents, which will happen from time to time, the way in which a provider reacts is also important. Meetings should be held that include a member of staff from each team and a safety coordinator to discuss current conditions. Then minutes ought to be kept to ensure that there is a complete record of any issues that may have arisen.
Concerns raised by staff should be integral to your practice’s drive for improvement.
Effective practices do what they can to provide high-quality services in addition to their standard offering. This means training staff to a high standard so that they can address problems that might otherwise cause patient disruption. For example, it may involve training nurses at your practice to dress difficult leg ulcers. This then avoids having to send the patient to a leg ulcer clinic in another town or county.
Responsive To The Needs Of Patients
Perhaps one of the most important things that surgeries can do is answering calls for doctors out of hours. Patients want to be able to access their healthcare provider 24/7. Medical conditions do not operate on a strict timetable.
Often providing around the clock telephone services is not possible due to staffing and time constraints. However, there are services run by trained professionals that can answer calls on your behalf and offer medical advice. Outsourcing your helpline both meets the needs of your patients and reduces the strain on your limited resources.
Often the reputation of a practice is built on the care that it can show a vulnerable person. People living in social housing or that are homeless are often those that are the most in need of attention.
Showing a level of commitment to the community as a whole can really benefit the reputation of the practice. Some practices have even arranged for taxis to pick up and drop off patients who otherwise could not have traveled to see their doctor.
Good leadership is essential for practices that want to motivate staff and succeed. The treatment matters, but a major part of the patient experience is the quality of the staff you employ. Good leadership recognizes the achievements of staff and drives them to keep on achieving so that standards are kept high.
Staff awards show that the practice is driven to deliver excellent patient care.