It is known that some treatments can be effective for one patient and practically do not affect the condition of another. The reason for this is the genetic characteristics of patients that affect the metabolism of medicines. The formation of a system for assessing the quality of services in a medical organization is a prerequisite for building a client-oriented service in the healthcare sector. The measurement of standard medical statistical indicators does not fully meet the requirements of rapidly developing modern healthcare, in which an important role is given to the social component of assessing the quality of medical care. This allows us to consider the relevance of healthcare measures taken through the prism of a patient’s perspective. The focus will be made on patients’ stages of life and their impact on a treatment approach.
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Commonly, people determine four general stages of the life of a human: childhood (birth – 18), adulthood (19 – 30), midlife (31 – 50), old age. Though there are more periods in scholar dimensions such as puberty or adolescence (“The human life circle,” 2019), it seems reasonable to accept the above classification as here a subjective perception of patients, not doctors or medical employees, is discussed. Thus, the four stages will be the basis for the research to assess the influence of age in healthcare from a patient’s view.
During childhood, patients are not able to engage themselves in a healthcare system. Their parents or tutors take them to a hospital and provide primary care. Hence, children do not have a complete opinion about healthcare, as most treatment measures are prescribed indirectly. When they become adults, doctors start to interact with them directly as the patients now can legally make decisions on their own. Moreover, during adulthood and midlife, patients begin to assess healthcare systems, facilities, and cure methods critically. Elderly patients, as a rule, have a whole set of chronic diseases. They need the healthcare complex of curing diabetes, asthma, chronic kidney disease, etc.
They should know how to behave, how to eat, move, take medicine, etc. so that there are no complications. To that end, older people require more doctors’ and nurses’ time (Jecker, 2017). A doctor should also take into account the need for psychological assistance to the elderly who often have depressive states, memory problems, etc. So, it might be assumed that moving from childhood to old age within the scope of a healthcare system results in certain peculiarities of curing approach and assessing treatment methods.
I contacted my friend to ask about his experiences with the healthcare system. My first question was about his opinion about the impact of his stage-of-life on medical employee’s approaches, “Do you feel that your stage‐of‐life had any effect on your interaction with health care professionals?” He answered, “Yes, I do. It seems to me that the older I get, the more meaningfully doctors explain to me the treatment program.” Then, I asked if there were any hospital departments that provided better care, “Which areas of the hospital or clinic were most concerned with your well‐being and feelings?” The answer was, “I cannot define this.
I was provided with high-quality care in all areas.” The following question was about the presence of his family during the treatment process, “Was your family with you during this hospital stay or outpatient visit?” He answered, “Yes, and it gave me support and confidence.” The last question was about family engagement in the post-treating instructions, “Was your family included in your treatment, such as post‐procedure instructions?” The answer was, “No, it wasn’t necessary. I only had not to play sports for a while.”
In conclusion, it seems reasonable to assume that stages of life influence the interaction between patients and the healthcare system considerably. When a patient gets older, medical professionals acknowledge him more about the treatment measures and program. In old age, they require more doctor’s time because of an increased number of diseases. The interview confirms that the older a patient gets, the more meaningfully doctors want to explain the treatment.
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Jecker, N. S. (2017). Age-related inequalities in health and healthcare: The life stages approach. Developing World Bioethics, 18(2), 144–155.
The human life cycle. (2019). Web.