Login

Register

Login

Register

Transparency in healthcare is the need of the day

Hospitals and healthcare is still a dark arena for most of us; and we feel we are better off not knowing or hoping not to know! Throughout the healthcare industry, there is vast confusion, obscurity and unprincipled way of healthcare service provision in terms of pricing, care and diagnosis. There is vast variation in service provision between public and private healthcare providers. And service and quality may not necessarily be equated all the time.
Clear communication and access to all information regarding the diagnosis, tests, scans and prices can help consumers make a better decision about their care. Hidden costs of treatments which patients may not be prepared for initially and have no access to, adds to the out-of-pocket expenses that may be stressful to handle. The consumers today want to know and understand how their healthcare requirement is handled and priced. They have a number of questions regarding how and why certain expensive tests are needed, or if they are covered in their insurance, or what really the out-of-pocket expenses will be like or maybe, how long do they get to pay the hospital bills, etc.
There is no better time for introduction of transparency in healthcare than today!
1.​ Transparency in patient care
Transparency basically is an uninhibited flow of information from the healthcare professional to the patient or his/her family and is open to scrutiny or criticism. Consider a situation where your kin is undergoing treatment for a critical medical condition and you have no access to information as to what medications are being used, what is being injected and what has been communicated between the doctor and the nurse. In such a case, if something goes wrong in the treatment and your kin loses his/her life, it is hard for you to track what exactly happened and how to demand justice.
  • Employing transparency in the system is important for patient safety. Transparency ensures that the patient clearly knows what is happening and if appropriate care is being taken.
  • It promotes trust between a doctor and patient and thus patient participation is better during the treatment.
  • Since the procedure for patient care and all services included in the treatment is outlined clearly, the patient knows what to expect and even the medical fraternity ensures that nothing falls short in the care.
  • Most importantly, patients can make an informed decision and be physically and mentally prepared for the treatment, helping with dealing with stress.
2.​ Transparency in surgeries
Notoriety is rampant in the surgery divisions of hospitals. Medical errors, unnecessary surgical procedures, extended admission to ICUs, hospital-acquired infections, etc. are a few of the malpractices that are common when it comes to surgeries and also most difficult to track. Additionally, untimely delays in surgeries or post-surgical complications too are not reported. Most medical fraternities refuse to accept medical mistakes and do not disclose errors on their part, if any. There is lack of data or other quality measures to publicly disclose the slipups on the hospital’s part.
Transparency in surgery from the healthcare provider to staff to patient is of utmost importance.
  • All details about the surgery, its timing, the personnel involved and any untimely delay or cancellation must be clearly informed to the patient’s kin.
  • Complete information about what the surgical procedure involved and the concerning risks should be discussed clearly.
  • Transparency reduces the events of unrecorded medical errors or lack of skill or equipment during emergency. Take the case of the death of 30 children in a hospital in Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen in cylinders. Transparency makes sure all information is available to seek making the hospitals too, more accountable for their actions.
  • Many a times, hospitals or surgery centers keep no record of surgeries that have gone wrong or safety records, which is grave.
  • Transparency should also be observed in providing open information regarding the ward design, available equipment, medications, safety measures and other critical components of a surgery department or center.
3.​ Transparency in pricing
One of the biggest burdens a patient carries out the hospital is the financial baggage that the healthcare provider leaves him or her with. Out-of-pocket expenses are very high with no clear knowledge of how much the care provided should cost and what is covered in insurance. The cost of care should be stated clearly to the patient before the treatment begins. It is a very important factor in the making the choice of healthcare provider and place where treatment is to be taken.
  • A huge number of unclear charges, overcharged treatments, excessively procured medications and hidden costs comprise a hospital bill today.
  • Patients are not clear about how much the treatment must cost and cannot compare with other healthcare providers either.
  • Transparency in providing the patient with details of how much a treatment would cost and if there are cheaper alternatives available is vital.
  • In a country like India, where health benefits are less and there is a huge difference in quality of care provided by public and privately run healthcare centers, out-of-pocket expenses are very high and hospital visits usually force poorer families into debts.
  • Corruption is rife in medical systems as patients blindly trust the hospital’s decisions and have no idea regarding the treatments and how much they should cost.
  • Transparency in costs at the very beginning is important so that patients can make an informed decision and also the healthcare provider is under radar.
Transparency in healthcare is fundamental if a patient-provider relationship is to survive and develop trust. It is an important measure to protect the patients and ensure safe treatment procedures, quality care and right pricing.
AB Hospitals is committed to complete transparency in healthcare.