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What Will You Prefer, Heavy Financial Returns or Heavy Quality Healthcare Service? (4)

Nigeria’s race to tech-powered medicine

By Kola Owolabi

What everyone that is unwell wants is to get well. Nobody goes to the hospital with his family to spend the weekend. Everyone who is in the hospital for one reason or the other wants to get out of the place as fast as possible. That is, he wants to get well fast. Then why do we need the best quality healthcare service, if the unwell person is not there for comfort but to get well and get out fast?

A definition of the expectation of everyone that goes in for healthcare attention in terms of good quality healthcare service, is necessary here. Let us look at the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) first. It puts it this way, “Quality of care is the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes”. I will take another one, this time from the National Academy of Medicine of the United States of America. “Quality health care is care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable”.

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Two phrases that project the same message in the two definitions are “desired outcomes” and “patient-centred”. This means that it is the extent to which one meets the expectation of the patient is what determines quality of healthcare attention. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the razzmatazz of the environment of the hospital or the attire of the medical team or the fine English they speak. What outcome does the patient desire, when he visits a healthcare establishment? What is he after at the end of the day? Does he want good comfort because he likes the place as a vacation home? It is only the patient that can answer this question.

I believe no patient wants to go back to the hospital for any other thing. He is there in the first place because he is unwell. So, once he gets well, then he wants to say bye bye to the hospital for ever. It is the healthcare establishment that handles the patient so much that he will get well and never come is the one that offers good quality service. Although, this reasoning may be too far-fetched, the patient who wants to return after he has gotten well may be doing so for other illogical reasons.

So can we conclude on one point? What is good quality service to the majority of patients? I believe it is showing and giving them attention and concern that you are not after their money, but how they will get well and would not have any reason to come back. People know that quality attention costs money, so they will be willing to pay good money for whatever that they consider as genuine good attention. Just like noise or advert or hype can draw people to try a product or service, satisfactory customer attention will get the customer back for a repeat purchase and also recommend the product to others. The same applies to healthcare service.

 

.Owolabi (08023203198) is the Principal Consultant of Healing Balm Health Consult, a Healthcare Consultancy services organization involved in the training of healthcare practitioners, particularly on issues concerning putting in place quality improvement culture .