A patient’s perspective of a quality healthcare rests on four main aspects as identified by Kongstvedt (2012). These are; technical competence, interpersonal relations, accessibility, and amenities. Any patient will judge a health care to be of quality if those handling him/her show high level competence and know how in regard to examination, consultation, and other technical procedures. As noted by Fulton.et al (2010) patients expect the provider to be able to undertake examination and prescribe relevant treatment. From my observation, most patients also expect a health care provider to maintain a number of qualified personnel so that technical procedures are not delegated to less qualified healthcare professionals.
However, the challenge has been the fact that many patients cannot fully comprehend their healthcare needs. I agree with Kongstvedt (2012) that this is what makes interpersonal relations important to the patient. He emphasizes that interpersonal relationships is a key issue in the patient’s perception of quality. That is, patients expects to be; given a warm welcome, listened to, shown respect as human beings as well as treated fairly. For instance, the healthcare providers should practice first come first serve principle and provide an assurance for the patient’s information confidentiality. Equally, effective listening and communication has a strong bearing on a patient’s perspective of a quality healthcare (Graham, 1995).
Another aspect that the patients would use in judging the quality of health care is the accessibility to its facilities. This means that health facilities should not be restricted by geography, economy, or/and language. Additionally, such facilities should have all the necessary supplies and equipment to adequately handle patients’ concerns (Kongstvedt, 2012).
However, from the healthcare providers’ perspective, the quality of healthcare is identified with such factors as; the availability of adequate trained personnel, continuous training to continually improve on technical expertise, availability of necessary equipments and supplies as well as enhanced remuneration. This implies that the main focus of the provider’s perspective is on capacity building and motivation to be able to extend quality healthcare (Fulton.et. al, 2010).
Even though it has its own challenges, the quality of healthcare in America can be viewed as a strength. I agree with Donohue (2008) who argues that this is because USA boosts of the most advanced technologies, innovations treatments, and human talents. It is evidenced that some of the best health practitioners have moved and continue to move into USA to provide their services there. Moreover, the country has continually channeled more money into the R&D in both medical and pharmaceutical fields. This has thus laid a foundation for an improved health care.
However, the enhanced quality has come with its own challenges which make it a weakness. I have observed that the cost of accessing healthcare is so high making it hard for the poor to access the services. This is clear from the report by Donohue (2008) which notes that US citizens pays more for health services than any other modern society. This has since led to an increasing number of people dropping their coverage. This will obviously continue threaten the viability of Medicare and Medicaid of the USA as well as the county’s global competitiveness. In addition, it is estimate that 98,000 Americans die due to medical mistakes and more that 1.5 million are left with injuries annually. This causes unnecessary costs to the system (Donohue, 2008)
In conclusion, it is apparent that patient’s perspective on quality healthcare is highly personalized and depends on the patient’s experiences at the health facility. On the other hand, a provider’s perspective is based on the existence of an enabling environment to discharge the services. Even with the infrastructure necessary for quality healthcare, other skills such as the interpersonal skills required to enable care providers deal with patients and ensure their satisfaction.