According to Elizabeth Ziemba, a global healthcare expert, patient satisfaction is the ultimate goal of hospitals and healthcare centers that seek to attain international accreditation.
“Obtaining accreditation is an important step to improve the quality of the medical services than an organization offers, but, they must understand that patient satisfaction across the patients’ journey is the ultimate goal for them and for any provider,” said Ziemba at the National Competitiveness Council (CNC) on July 17th.
Ziemba delivered a conference at the CNC titled Accreditation as a component to strengthen the quality and safety of health services in the Dominican Republic, which gathered key medical travel actors in the country as in Amelia Reyes, vice president of the Dominican Health Tourism Association, Dr. Jose Natalio Redondo, president of Grupo Rescue, Claudia Arvelo, executive director of the Espaillat Cabral Institute, the director of habilitation at the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Bruno Calderon Troncoso, and Laura del Castillo, technical director of the CNC.
Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso, president of the Dominican Health Tourism Association, talked about the importance of pursuing quality for all medical service providers.
“We encourage a quality seal proposal, international accreditation, and bringing up the role of specialized medical societies as a way to have a stronger health sector. Quality and safety is what we need for a competitive medical travel destination, and that is exactly what brings us today,” he said during the presentation of the conference.
Ziemba’s goal to visit the Dominican Republic was to become familiar with the country, the hospitals, and the healthcare services that are available.
“I certainly see that there is potential here. I see the willingness to engage, improve, and work together across sectors. The Dominican people are very nice, warm, and friendly. Medical travelers are served with quite a high standard of care by a terrific group of people that want to do it right and do it well, ” she said in an interview with dohealthwell before being presented by Gilberto Objio, president of Medical Law.
The regional representative of Temos emphasized that organizations need to achieve specific criteria for quality care to be realized. Some of them are:
- Safe: avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is supposed to help them.
- Timely: reducing waiting times and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who receive care.
- Patient-centered: providing care that is respectful and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.
- Accessible: services must be widely available and affordable.
She also detailed that effectiveness and efficiency are also fundamental for quality care.
“Providing services based on scientific knowledge and avoiding waste, particularly of equipment, supplies, ideas, and even energy, is critical for improving quality, given the fact that around 25% of resources are lost each year”, she said to the attendees.
Levels of satisfaction and data
Ziemba detailed that patient satisfaction consists of two categories: perceived service and expected service.
“When a medical service is much better than expected, there we have a delighted and loyal patient, who will, in turn, and without being asked for, speak highly of your practice or hospital with relatives, friends, and across social media,” she said.
On the other hand, a service that is worse or different than expected results in a dissatisfied patient who tends to “walk and talk.”
When questioned about how data may benefit healthcare centers, Elizabeth Ziemba outlined that data and information are one of the most crucial elements for organizations to deliver quality medical services.
“Certainly, after accreditation, organizations must gather and process data across the patients’ journey, whether local or international patient. Is the only way for them to know what they are doing right, what needs to change, and what are the things that affect them when delivering healthcare.”