Healthcare 360: What It Means To Provide Patients with Quality Care

September 13, 2023

Podcast: Quality Care and the Patient Experience with Dr. Matt Germak

On this week’s episode of Healthcare 360, Dr. Rob Fields sits down with Dr. Matt Germak, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, BILH Primary Care to discuss quality care and changing the way patients experience the healthcare system.

Defining Quality Care

In order to discuss quality of care, Dr. Germak explains that we must first be able to define “quality.” Throughout his career, he has spoken to countless patients about their experience with the healthcare system and what quality care means to them. As a result, he’s found that overall understanding of quality varies greatly across the board and maintains that defining quality is critical to his role.

Quality of care, he says, is especially broad both in concept and breadth. “It includes safety, timeliness of care, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient-centeredness  you know, that STEEP sort of acronym  and I’ve always held to that when I think about quality and strategy and you know, initiatives and goals.”

“But the important fourth and fifth arms of that,” he continues, referring to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s growing quintuple aim framework, “are population health and care team or clinician experience.”

Putting the Patient First

When it comes to providing quality care, the patient’s perspective is an essential component. Dr. Germak says, “I think that patient perspective is critical and important to bring out in addition to the more, you know, quantitative aspects of quality.”

This encompasses their entire experience – from the actual care they receive to how their doctor interacts with them. Dr. Germak points to literature describing how to improve the quality of the patient experience via simple adjustments that one might not always even consciously think about.

“There’s literature that supports certain tactics that impact patient perception of how well their care provider listens and engages them and communicates,” he says, “And one of those is simply sitting instead of standing, right? Another one is trying not to interrupt a patient for, I think, it’s 18 seconds is the number, which isn’t a lot of time when you think about it. But it is a lot of time if we’re not cognizant of that and how that might land with the patient.”

Every other week, we’ll chat with a leading expert in healthcare to learn about the many challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Germak, and check in regularly for new episodes of Healthcare 360.

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