With the help of telemedicine and more advanced treatment plans, the long-term care and skilled nursing facility sector have shown drastic improvements over the past few years. But while these changes have proven to be monumental and are likely here to stay, this industry will never truly reach its potential unless there is a larger focus placed on patient preferences.

As research reveals, the vast majority of healthcare providers agree that there is immense value in considering patient preferences. But, even with this information at large, only a small percentage of this growing group has decided to take action towards collecting this important data and actually applying it to their practices.

Why Patient Preferences Are So Important

At first glance, one might believe that allowing patients to have an influence on major healthcare decision-making processes isn’t such a wise idea, but after taking a closer look, it becomes clear that patient feedback is the key to attaining more satisfactory results across the board. The skilled nursing facility sector is filled with former patients who have evolved into healthcare consumers. And with that transition, these people have acquired more education about the treatment options available to them and would like to have a say in how they are treated.

Long-term care patients receive treatment in a localized facility for weeks, perhaps even months at a time. Likewise, those at skilled nursing facilities might live out the rest of their days at their respective practice. During such extended stays, patients will often report that they have needs that extend beyond their medical necessities. For example, one might notice that the facility could use a more thorough cleaning or that the practice could benefit from investing in lighting that is more soothing to the eyes.

Not every bit of feedback will prove to be useful or can even be implemented, but by seeking out input, facilitators will have a more defined idea as to what is working and what is contributing to negative ratings. Also, said feedback presents the opportunity to provide personalized care to meet the individual needs of each patient as no healthcare plan is one-size-fits-all.

How Leaders Can Go About Collecting This Feedback

Collecting this feedback is quite simple as patients are usually willing to express their concerns and offer suggestions that will garner more positive results. One way of going about this is to conduct simple surveys and urge participants to speak candidly about their needs. Another way to gain more insight is to reach out to local patient advisory councils, or PACs. These groups are composed of not only patients but also family members, caregivers, and concerned citizens who hold valuable opinions that can be put towards cultivating better clinical outcomes.

By incorporating patient preferences, industry leaders would be vowing to take a more patient-centric approach, instead of allowing their practices to be ruled by limited perspectives. Putting this feedback into play reminds the patient that their needs come first, and in return, long-term care facilities can expect vast improvements in their resident experiences and overall reputations.