Patient Quality of Care—
Medical Assistants and LPN’s

Interested in becoming a medical assistant or LPN? The most important task any LPN or MA can do is offer quality care to patients.

As a medical assistant or LPN, you will need to work under the authority of nurses and doctors, and you’ll be held to strict quality of care guidelines. In all of your duties, you should have an ultimate goal of improving the patient’s quality of care.

The question is, how can you offer your patients improved quality of care? The key is working with your team to support the patient.

Every person has his or her own strengths, and working together in a team environment allows you to complement other team members’ strengths. However, in working together, it’s important to minimize redundancy and unnecessary care.

In addition to working as a team, you can also improve the patient’s quality of care through education. Your patient education starts with sharing preventive care measures, and continues with offering postsurgical or posttreatment instructions.

Remember that patients are part of the overall care team, as they are responsible for their own healthy living outside your medical office.

Finally, as an LPN or medical assistant, you must understand that communication is vital with both colleagues and patients. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page, including the patient, will give the patient the best chance to achieve quality care.

What Is the Definition of Quality of Care?

The World Health Organization essentially defines quality of care as the extent to which the health care services provided to patients improves desired health outcomes.

In order to achieve this, health care must be safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, and people centered. Ultimately, these guidelines must apply across all organizational functions and processes in order to benefit the patients.

Why Is Quality of Care Important?

Patients should receive the highest quality of care possible. In many countries, the mortality of patients is high due to the inadequacies of the quality of care provided. Organizations must continue to improve the quality of care to show dignity, respect, compassion, and empathy to patients.

How a Medical Assistant or LPN Can Improve Quality of Care

As an LPN or MA, you can improve your patient’s quality of care by treating your patient as you’d wish to be treated. You should treat all patients with dignity and be fully committed to their health.

Before offering care to a patient, set attainable goals and collaborate with doctors, colleagues, and patients to create a care plan. Treat patients as individuals, with their own unique needs, and understand their limitations.

Make sure to continue reviewing the patient’s diagnosis and treatment, and analyze data and outcomes to help improve the quality of care for all. Finally, make sure that all supplies needed are available, stocked, clean, and ready to use so that you can offer the swiftest care possible.

Show Respect

Patients and their families may be going through a stressful time in their lives. Taking care of a patient requires you to have a positive attitude in the face of a negative situation. Understanding patients’ situations and showing them respect is important for ensuring that patients receive high quality care.

Show Compassion

As an MA or LPN, you must have compassion for your patients. You should understand what they are going through and how they are suffering, and offer your support. By showing compassion, you can help your patients relax and forget about their anxiety. The patient will stay calm in the presence of your compassion.

Show Empathy

You must put yourself in your patients’ shoes to understand how they really feel. Try to view the situation from the patient’s perspective and determine how you can offer the best possible care.

Treat Patients With Dignity

Patients should never be a burden. They should feel comfortable in asking for your help, and you should support them in their decisions. Allow the patient to feel respected and to create a strong relationship with you.

Be Committed to Their Health

As a medical assistant or LPN, you are responsible for the health of your patients. If you are truly committed to helping them, this will allow the patient to thrive.

Set Attainable Goals

You don’t know where you’re going, or if you’ve even gotten there, if you don’t have a goal. Set concrete and measurable goals for patient care, in any areas that need improvement. Make sure your goals improve the safety, effectiveness, timing, and efficiency of care.

Create a Plan

After setting goals, make sure you understand the plan behind the care. This will help you accomplish goals in a timely and effective manner. Understand what is measured and the protocol for attaining the measurements. Create an organized plan to help improve a patient’s quality of care.

Communicate Properly

You must keep the lines of communication open between the patient, colleagues, and yourself. Being able to express your thoughts will allow patients to understand what is going to happen and what they need to prepare for during their visit.

Communication is also important when taking notes for other team members to use for patient care. Proper patient care relies on all parties to communicate properly.

Treat the Patient as an Individual

As an LPN or MA, you must treat patients, not their illness. Treating the patient as an individual means understanding all the implications and consequences of a treatment. It is not acceptable to just mask the pain or treat one symptom. You must treat the whole person, providing the optimal care.

Further, you should call the patient by name. Don’t refer to the patient as a diagnosis. Patients are human beings who need to feel cared for and important.

Understand Human Limitations

Some patients may have different limitations than others. Understand their abilities, limitations, and character before helping to make treatment decisions. Use these human factors for treatment and for understanding the limitations of individuals.

Conduct Regular Patient Reviews

Many hospitals operate in “rounds.” Rounds involve all staff members running through a patient’s history, diagnosis, and treatment. As a clinical health care worker, you must do more than the bare minimum.

You should be proactive in reviewing patient documentation in order to understand what’s going on and how you can offer the best health care to your patients. Listen to your patients, and make sure you understand their concerns and their treatment progression. This will also allow the patient to create a level of trust with you as you manage their health concerns.

Analyze Data and Outcomes

A good LPN or MA learns from the past. Before you can make sound decisions and offer quality health care, you must know what opportunities exist and establish a baseline outcome.

Review your patient’s outcomes and understand what the data is telling you about your patients. Your skills will evolve over time based on the data and outcomes your team sees on a day-to-day basis. These improvements will allow you to offer improved quality of care.

Keep Supplies Stocked and Handy

It can be frustrating to stop and hunt for a medical instrument, bandage, or other supply in the middle of treating a patient. Also, in emergency situations, time is of the essence, so having supplies on hand and ready to use can be important.

Make sure to keep supplies stocked, and make orders for supplies that may be needed. Having the right supplies will allow you to offer the best care possible for your patient. Make sure all supplies are properly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized. Never use one-time-use supplies more than once. Quality care starts with clean supplies.

Final Thoughts

As a medical assistant or LPN, it is up to you to improve the quality of care for your patients. You must teach your patients about their health conditions and how to regulate their health.

You must gain the trust of your patient through respect, compassion, and empathy. Make sure to analyze past outcomes to learn how to improve quality of care for your patients. If you can do that, you will be well on your way to successful outcomes for your patients.

Did learning about how to improve a patient’s quality of care interest you? Ready for an exciting new career in the health care field?

The Medical Assistant program or Practical Nursing program provides the graduate with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to function as a clinical health care worker who deals directly with patients.

The Medical Assistant program provides hands-on experience in a real medical setting where you can foster professional relationships with actual patients. Medical Assistant students spend 160 hours in an externship in an actual medical environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.

Part of the practical nurse training curriculum is devoted to theory and the rest to hands-on laboratory skills practice and off-site clinical rotations. These rotations include work at long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, and childbearing and pediatric outpatient settings.

Upon successful completion of NCLEX-PN, the National Council Licensure Examination, which is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States, the licensed practical nurse (LPN) works under the direction of a registered nurse or licensed physician in a variety of health care settings.

Contact us today to find out more about how to become a medical assistant or LPN on Long Island.