You’ve most likely heard of America as having a flawed and expensive healthcare system, but how is it really? As of 2018, the U.S. ranks first in terms of health expenditure, having a per capita spending of $10,586. It’s followed by Germany ($5,986), Sweden ($5,447), and Canada ($4,974). While we already know that the system has its flaws, what are some perspectives to help make it become better?
Quality Services for Lower Costs
With more than 5,000 hospitals and clinics offering similar medical services spread across the country, the patient count in each facility can be quite small. Take cardiac surgery as an example. Two of the highest-volume hospitals in Silicon Valley, California had about 1,000 surgeries each in 2012. On the other hand, two of the lowest-volume hospitals performed only 100 each that same year. The turnout was that the lower-volume hospitals had more risk-adjusted deaths versus high-volume ones.
To put simply, a higher volume of patients led to more communication among hospital staff, and the exposure to more cases for surgery led to fewer instances of human error. Since cardiac surgeries are expensive, it’s less beneficial to perform them with low volume, where staff and equipment just sit while the prices of operations increase.
The reasons some hospitals don’t consolidate their programs include profitability from these procedures and is a brand of marketing or advertising. Ideally, no business or establishment wants to run with low volume, but the healthcare system makes it more complicated than it seems.
The Payment System
Relative to quality healthcare, the fee-for-service method means that doctors get paid based on the volume of services done versus service quality. Economics tells us that as supplies rise, costs go down. This isn’t mirrored here. For instance, a given area receives more doctors with a specialization. The volume and complexity of procedures rise alongside while the price never changes. It’s important to make for a more quality-centered model and appropriate care.
Comprehensive records are very crucial in healthcare. An electronic record that connects doctors and communities nearby help physicians learn patient history better. This results in providing more optimized healthcare solutions instead of redundancies and inefficiencies. A faster and more efficient way of focusing on healthcare also involves more accurate emergency department billing systems, document flow, and transactions.
With healthcare being looked down, it’s important to advertise and market your facility, and reach as many people as possible to increase volume and quality of services to your patients.
- Using social media is one of the lowest forms of advertising hospitals utilize with the minimal budget allotted for it. In a digital world, it’s best to take advantage of internet reach and craft media campaigns and strategies using interviews and case studies.
- Aside from online presence, focus on your content production and quality to have people flocking to your website. Exclusive content, health updates and tips, as well as healthcare news bring out more reasons for people to stick around, and eventually come to you. Quality of healthcare procedures should also come first over the quality of amenities.
The country’s healthcare system can be improved in many ways. But while they may not be implemented yet, providing quality service should never be compromised. People should always consult their doctor or physician and continue to receive much-needed healthcare.