There are many healthcare professionals who find the clinical practice aspect of their jobs to be among the most challenging. All healthcare professionals wish to help their patients as best they can. The overwhelming majority of doctors, however, would no doubt agree that whilst clinical practice is an integral and vital aspect of care, it can be fraught with high workloads and associated stress. Fortunately, healthcare research is on hand to help make clinical practice both easier and more effective than ever before. The right kinds of data and the appropriate results can help improve clinical practice for both doctors and patients, so how does healthcare research help you to do your job more effectively? Take a look at just some of the areas healthcare research can help to improve here.
Gathering qualitative data
Where research is concerned, there are two distinct varieties of data we must consider: quantitative data and qualitative data. Quantitative data is concerned with pure numbers, such as ‘how many patients are readmitted within three months of their previous stay’, while qualitative data is more concerned with emotion and other aspects that can vary by degree. Qualitative data can represent a measure of a patient’s attitude towards an aspect of their treatment. How comfortable are they? How much pain are they in? Do they feel that all their needs are being met? Retaining a focus on qualitative data can help to gain a better understanding of a patient’s experience, allowing doctors to behave more helpfully and thoughtfully during clinical practice. Patient experience audits can be used to ensure that no patients are left feeling as though their needs have been overlooked by highlighting areas for improvement.
Understanding healthcare problems
Sometimes, the healthcare industry is criticised for being overly concerned with cause and effect without seeing the wider picture. Doctors can occasionally be guilty of thinking in terms of symptoms, causes, diagnoses and treatments, and while this is an effective means of alleviating healthcare complaints, it doesn’t leave much room for the patients themselves. Research can help us to better understand healthcare problems, providing us with a patient’s perspective to a variety of illnesses to sit alongside clinical data. The more we understand the experiences of a patient, the better we can become at making them happy and comfortable during treatment. In fact, research has revealed that patients who feel as though their doctors care more for them tend to see improved outcomes with fewer complications, highlighting the need for timely data from patient audits.
Helping patients with unique needs
Each patient is an individual case, and as such, deserves individual care. Certain patients will have unique needs that must be considered during clinical practice. Patients with impaired movement, vision or hearing, those with learning difficulties and those otherwise unable to communicate through conventional means require unique help and support; healthcare research can help us to better understand and thus meet such needs.
Improving standards of care
The ultimate goal of healthcare research is to improve overall standards of care, whether through clinical practice or otherwise. With accurate data, we can better fulfil the needs discussed above and provide doctors with the knowledge they require to offer the highest quality care to their patients during clinical practice and beyond. Here at the Document Capture Co, we provide healthcare data capture solutions designed to solve the unique problems faced in the healthcare industry and capture detailed, accurate data you can use to improve your approach to care this year. If you’re looking to improve the care standards of your healthcare facility through healthcare research, contact us today and find out more about how we can help.