May 17, 2020

Top 10 Patient-Centered Care Guiding Principles

Patient Care
hospital executives
management strategies
ho
Admin
3 min
Patient Care Is Extremely Important
Last year,Mountain States Healthcare Alliance(MSHA)received the 2012 National Quality Healthcare Awardfrom the National Quality Forum (NAF). The award...

 

Last year, Mountain States Healthcare Alliance (MSHA) received the 2012 National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum (NAF). The award is given to an ‘exemplary healthcare organization’ that has achieved a number of quality focused goals and achievements. MSHA’s major achievement was providing patient-centered care and achieving better outcomes at lower costs.

MSHA devised a 10-point plan for delivering a world-class level of patient care and has published it as a ‘best practice’ guide for other hospital executives across the globe.

Healthcare Global takes a look at their award winning 10-point plan >>>

10 Patient-Centered Care Guiding Principles

1. All Team Members Are Considered Caregivers

No matter what role staff play at MSHA, they’re all considered part of patients’ care experience, whether they’re part of the housekeeping staff or the CEO. New people are trained on this and employees get awarded for demonstrating patient-centered care principles.

2. Care Is Based On Continuous Healing Relationships

This principle reminds staff that the focus is placed on the “continuum” of care and not “episodes” of care.

3. The Patient Is The Source Of Control

To do this all the other principles need to be followed so there’s transparency and an environment of shared information where a patient can focus on healing.

4. Care Is Customized And Reflects Patient Needs, Values And Choices

This principle recognizes that each patient is different and has his or her own unique needs and preferences. But it doesn’t only apply to individualized care. MSHA also focuses on the patient’s environment and what he or she needs to be comfortable.

5. Families And Friends Of The Patient Are Considered An Essential Part Of The Care Team

Families support patients emotionally and physically. They can help patients remember instruction and also communicate for patients who are in pain or are scared.

6. Care Is Provided In A Healing Environment Of Comfort And Support

MSHA has focused on the patient when it comes to creating a healing environment. They offer music, healing gardens, soothing color schemes, pet therapy programs and rooms that smell of lavender or baked cookies.

7. Knowledge And Information Are Freely Shared Among Care Team And The Patient

In order to have an authentic patient-centered care environment, everyone on the team has to know the patient’s status and care plan, and be part of the decision-making process.

8. Transparency Is The Rule In The Care Of The Patient

This principle guarantees that providers must be upfront and honest with patients about their care so patients can make informed decisions. MSHA takes transparency seriously. It even posts its quality and safety performance on its website.

9. Patient Safety Is A Visible Priority

The best way to demonstrate MSHA’s commitment to patient care is by making patient safety a top priority. It implements policies and procedures to enforce patient safety best practices.

10. All Caregivers Cooperate With One Another Through A Common Focus On The Best Interests And Personal Goals Of The Patient

Everything at MSHA is done through the patient’s perspective. Evening billing is approached from this perspective so staff work to make billing easy to understand for patients.

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Jun 13, 2021

How healthcare can safeguard itself against cyberthreats

#Cybersecurity
#cyberattacks
#digitaltransformation
#covid19
Jonathan Miles
6 min
Jonathan Miles, Head of Strategic Intelligence and Security Research at Mimecast, tells us how the healthcare sector can protect itself from attacks

One of the most fundamental lessons from the COVID crisis is that health should always be a priority.  In a similar fashion to the human body that frequently fights off viruses and foreign invaders that intend to cause it harm, the sector itself is now a prime target for another type of external threat: cyberattacks.

The figures speak for themselves: between December and January this year, hospitals in the UK were at 89% capacity, with 7,000 fewer available beds than there usually are. As the pandemic increased pressure on hospitals, clinics, and research facilities to create a treatment for patients globally, it has left the sector exposed to hackers who, like a virus, have been targeting it relentlessly and evolving their tactics. 

From patient records being held ransom, to fake emails claiming to originate from the UN WHO, the NHS, or vaccine centres, through to attacks on the cold supply chain to find out the secret formula of the COVID vaccine, the healthcare industry is facing constant cyberattacks and struggling to cope. This threat is unlikely to go away anytime soon – and as such, the industry needs to take a proactive, preventative stance to stay safe in a dynamic digital world. 

Going digital 

The responsive nature of healthcare – particularly of hospitals – means that efficiency is crucial to the industry’s standard operations. To support this, the sector has been embracing technological advancements that can improve the quality of work, enabling staff to meet pressing deadlines, and enhancing patient care. For example, the industry has been digitising records and improving its ways of working through digital means over the past few years. 

This shift is critical to offer high quality patient care; yet, it also means the sector has become more dependent on IT, which can come with a risk if cybersecurity processes employed are deemed as inadequate. 

Without the correct security measures in place, the desired efficiency gains realised, can be easily lost in a heartbeat. Simply put, an elementary glitch in the system can have a tremendous ripple effect on many areas, from accessing patient records and conducting scans, to maintaining physical security and protecting the intellectual property of experimental treatment development.

To prevent this, healthcare organisations need to ensure they’re considering cybersecurity as part of their overall digital transformation strategy – and setting the right foundations to create a culture where safety goes hand in hand with patient care. 

Strengthening defences

Before implementing cybersecurity process, healthcare organisations need to assess the potential risks they face. Depending on how much confidential data the trust has, where it is stored, who has access to it and via which means, the cybersecurity strategy and associated solutions will change. 

It’s fair to say that a medical device start-up where all employees have a corporate-sanctioned laptop and access data via a VPN will have radically different needs to a large hospital with hundreds of frontline workers connecting to the hospital’s Wi-Fi using their personal device. 

These requirements will pale by comparison to a global pharmaceutical giant with offices in multiple locations, a large R&D department researching new treatments for complex diseases and a fully integrated supply chain. Considering the existing setup and what the organisations is looking to achieve with its digital transformation strategy will therefore have an immediate impact on the cybersecurity strategy.

Despite this, there are fundamentals that any organisation should implement: 
Review and test your back-up policy to ensure it is thorough and sufficient – By checking that the organisation’s back-up is running smoothly, IT teams can limit any risks of disruption in the midst of an incident and of losing data permanently.

In our recent State of Email Security report, we found that six out of ten organisations have been victims of ransomware in 2020. As a result, afflicted organisations have lost an average of six days to downtime. One third of organisations even admitted that they failed to get their data back, despite paying the ransom. In the healthcare industry, this could mean losing valuable patient records or data related to new treatments – two areas the sector cannot afford to be cavalier about.

Conduct due diligence across the organisation’s supply chain – Healthcare organisations should review their ways of working with partners, providers and regulatory institutions they work with in order to prevent any weak link in their cybersecurity chain. Without this due diligence, organisations leave themselves exposed to the risks of third party-led incidents. 

Roll out mandatory cybersecurity awareness training - Healthcare organisations shouldn’t neglect the training and awareness of their entire staff – including frontline workers who may not access the corporate network on a regular basis. According to our State of Email Security report, only one fifth of organisations carry out ongoing cyber awareness training.

This suggests it is not widely considered as a fundamental part of most organisations cyber-resilience strategy, despite the fact many employees rely on their organisation’s corporate network to work. By providing systematic training, healthcare organisations can help workers at all levels better understand the current cyberthreats they face, how they could impact their organisation, the role they play in defending the networks, and develop consistent, good cybersecurity hygiene habits to limit the risks of incidents. 
Consider a degree of separation – Information and Operational Technology (IT and OT) networks should be separated.

Although mutually supported and reliance on each other, employees shouldn’t be accessing one via the other. This should be complemented by a considered tried and tested contingency and resiliency plan that allows crucial services to function unabated should there be a compromise. Similarly, admin terminals should not have internet access to afford a degree of hardening and protection for these critical accounts.

As the sector becomes a common target for fraudulent and malicious activity, putting cybersecurity at the core of the organisation’s operations is critical. It will help limit the risks of disruption due to cyberattacks, reduce time spent by the cybersecurity team to resolve easily avoidable errors, and ensure that institutions can deliver patient care, safe in the knowledge that their networks are safe.  

Fighting future threats

With technology continuing to change the face of healthcare, the surface area and vectors available for attacks by malicious actors is constantly increasing. With the introduction of apps, networked monitoring devices, and a need for communication, the attack vector is ever expanding, a trend that needs to be monitored and secured against.

To prevent any damage to patients, staff, or the organisation they are responsible for, healthcare leaders must put security front and centre of their digital transformation strategy. Only then can the sector harness the full benefits of technology. Doing this should include implementing cybersecurity awareness training to challenge misconceptions around security, encourage conversation, and to ensure employee knowledge of the security basics and threats faced. 

This ultimately allows healthcare organisations to do what they do best: provide the highest standard of patient care, safe in the knowledge that their operations, patients, and data are safe.

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