The modern environment of economic growth, technological advances, and the quick pace of urbanization have led to a significant increase in patient expectations, and, subsequently, the decrease in satisfaction rates (Kravitz, 1998, p. 280). Therefore, there is an expanding gap that arose between what general practitioners consider important and what patients want (Singh, 1998, p. 97). Due to the fact that patients are starting to interact more with the nurses and healthcare providers, meeting their needs is of the highest importance.
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As mentioned in the study conducted by Williams (1997), patient satisfaction predominantly relies on the attitude of medical professionals rather than the act of treatment itself (p. 15). Thus, effective communication between a patient and a doctor is an essential aspect in building trustworthy relationships that will leave the patient satisfied (Fong Ha, Surg Anat, & Longnecker, 2010, p. 38).
Holistic medicine is often considered one of the most effective methods of reaching patient satisfaction since it implies a patient-centered approach to health care (World Health Organization, 2004, p. 3). According to Dr. de Silva (2014), 55% of studies on the topic focus on the holistic concept of healthcare since it is believed that it will significantly increase patient satisfaction rates (p. 5). A holistic approach to patient satisfaction is worth studying since it can be an effective approach that allows the patient to express his or her needs and expectations of the health care provided (Asadi-Lari, Tamburini, & Gray, 2004, para. 32). Furthermore, there is a possibility that holistic health care impacts the way society perceives medical practice in a general sense.
Holistic healthcare and patient satisfaction take into account all the areas that can make the patient satisfied. The way these approach works varies from country to country as well as facility to facility. For instance, holistic nursing looks at integrating the patient’s whole: physical, emotional, social as well as psychological needs (Mariano 2009). This type of care establishes a connection between all the areas of a ‘patient’s’ life. This is why perioperative nursing contributes immensely to holistic care as the perioperative period in nursing stresses the patients and their kin.
Patients fear the pain that will come with operation while the kin may worry about the degree of success as well as eventual care. Therefore, the perioperative nursing goal is to make sure that physical as well as psychological pain on the part of the patients and their family members is prevented.
Achieving patient satisfaction is not easy. Everything from the interpersonal connection between the patient and the hospital staff to the policies and procedures needs to be optimized. All these factors impact greatly patient satisfaction as most hospitals are fast moving towards patient-centered models. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), it does not matter whether the hospital environment and procedures are right; what matters most is the patient-provider relationships. One dissatisfied patient can lead to the loss of a lot of income. It has been established that facilities that have adequately satisfied their patients have seen increased sales at an average of 68.2% (Berg & Sarvimäki 2003)
Most of the time, outpatients from the core traffic in most facilities. Thus, the workflow at such departments should be planned such that consultations are faster and simple. In essence, everything in the department should be as stress-free as possible. This is done either by patients being warmly welcomed with greetings and guided to the right counter. The custodial staff should be prompt too. Further, everything to do with registration, billing, revisit schedules and other services need to be carried out at one point to save time.
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The physical facilities should be given much importance. The décor and displays at the facilities should enhance the facilities’ cheerfulness. The surroundings, ambiance, lighting, windows, and ventilation should be made in such a way that they overlook beautiful landscapes. These act as patient satisfiers.
Also, a nursing station is placed near each cubicle that immediately responds to patient complaints. Besides, patient isolation rooms should be set far enough for drug-resistant isolates as well as communicable diseases.
According to Shelton (1998), this is an area that is usually neglected by many facilities. He observes that in most cases matters to do with care for the terminally ill are given little, or at times, no attention as they are treated as medical failures. A facility that aims at holistic care needs not to ignore terminally ill patients. Thus, an excellent facility should have a team of doctors who are dedicated to such patients. For those patients who are unable to get to the hospital, it the duty of the hospital to arrange for a home care team of doctors to handle them.
In conclusion, it can be seen that a sound healthcare system is one that strives to provide holistic healthcare which achieves patient satisfaction. Therefore, on top of the provision of healthcare services, the healthcare system should be supportive and humanitarian to make sure all the stakeholders in the system are satisfied. Developing strong patient-provider relationships that lead to patient satisfaction should form the ultimate goal. This is despite meeting all the patients’ needs, and expectations is a challenge.
Asadi-Lari, M., Tamburini, M., & Gray, D. (2004). Patient’s needs, satisfaction, and health related quality of life: Towards a comprehensive model. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2(32), 1-15.
Berg, G.V. & Sarvimäki, A. (2003). A holistic-existential approach to health promotion. Scand J Caring Sci. 17(4), 384-391.
De Silva, D. (2014). Helping measure person-centered care. Web.
Fong Ha, J., Surg Anat, D., & Longnecker, N. (2010). Doctor-patient communication: A review. Ochsner J, 10(1), 38-43.
Kravitz, R. (1998). Patient satisfaction with health care: Critical outcome or trivial pursuit? J Gen Intern Med, 13(4), 280-282.
Mariano, C. (2009). Holisting nursing: scope and standards of practice. In: Dossey BM, Keegan L, eds. Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Shelton, J. (1998). Measuring & improving patient satisfaction. 12(3), 211-13.
Singh, S. (1998). Holistic approach for patient satisfaction – An innovative experiment at aims. Health Administrator, 17(1), 98-101.
Williams, SA. (1997). The relationship of patient’s perceptions of holistic nurse caring to satisfaction with nursing care. J Nurs Care Qual, 11(5), 15-29.
World Health Organization. (2007). People-centered health care: A policy framework. Web.