5 ways patients and providers can improve care

Mayo Clinic has put forth five guidelines for improving healthcare quality. The academic medical center advises patients to take a more proactive approach to education about their health and to not be afraid to ask questions.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Ask doctors to read medical notes after a consultation, a practice Mayo Clinic follows with many of its physicians. This practice makes patients feel like they are "part of their own care."
  • Use patient applications to improve access to care. Mayo points to its applications as examples, such as the Mayo Clinic Patient App for booking online appointments.
  • Implement safety tracking systems, such as Mayo's use of grocery-style bar code technology to account for all of its sponges to avoid errors.
  • Take a trusted friend or relative to accompany you to the hospital or doctor's office. Another opinion and set of eyes and ears will help ensure clear communication, Mayo contends.
  • To ensure patient identity, include patient photos in medical records along with the patient's name, date of birth and clinic number.

Basic tips are still relevant as more healthcare systems look to big data and technology to improve care. Patient safety, especially in the emergency room, needs to be made into a framework, as well, as a study in the American Journal of Medical Quality recently found.

To learn more:
- read Mayo's announcement

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