In earlier days of medical practice, the physician alone used to manage the patient care services by recording the patient identification demographic data, taking history and physical examination, dressing the patients for wounds and injuries, taking blood for testing, giving injection and dispensing medicines. And also used to give counseling the patient when to take the medicine, dose, when to see doctor and so on. In simple terms the doctor was doing the services of medical records, nurse, lab technician, pharmacist, social worker and so on. By this method, a physician can see only limited patients, while the number of patients who needed medical services was more. In order to meet the patient care services swiftly and efficiently, the need for some assistants arose. This need has created the allied healthcare professionals, one after one, emanated to assist the busy physician and allow him to deal with medical and complicated cases which need medical background while other allied professionals can contribute greatly to patient care service directly or indirectly with their area of expertise.
ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES
The explosion of scientific knowledge that followed World War II brought increasingly sophisticated and complex medical diagnostic and treatment procedures. In addition, increasing medical and healthcare costs provoked a trend away from treating patients in hospitals toward the provision of care in physician's private and group practices, and ambulatory medical and emergency clinics. What followed was an increase in the need for expertly trained healthcare delivery personnel lied professionals have taken the rest?
ALLIED HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Allied healthcare workers are those specialized persons distinct from medicine, dentistry and nursing. They work in an environment of health-care team to make the healthcare system function uninterruptedly and effectively. Evidently, these professionals, who will be associated with medical, nursing and other allied medical professionals in rendering patient care services directly or indirectly, need to have the fundamentals of medical related field's knowledge to enable to contribute effectively. This has become imperative to have a fundamental knowledge and skills of certain subjects, e.g. Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, Pathology, Laboratory, Radiology, Radiation Therapy, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Medical Psychology, public Medical Social Work, Medical Records, Public Relations, Medical Secretarial Profession, Communication Skills, Leadership and Motivation, etc.
Allied healthcare professions are clinical healthcare professions distinct from medicine, dentistry, and nursing. They work in an environment of healthcare team to make the healthcare system function effectively and efficiently uninterruptedly.
Professions: Depending on the country and local healthcare system, a limited subset of the following professions may be represented, and may be regulated.
All professionals/professional areas ascribed before belong to the ever growing group of allied health professionals and their subspecialties. The precise titles and roles in the allied health professions may vary considerably from country-to-country.
Since their job descriptions become more specialized, they must adhere to national training and education standards, their professional scope of practice, and often prove their skills through diplomas, certified credentials, and continuing education. Members of the allied health professions must be proficient in the use of many skills. Some of which are medical terminology, acronym and spelling, basics of medical law and ethics, understanding of human relations, interpersonal communication skills, counseling skills, computer literacy, ability to document healthcare information, interviewing skills, and proficiency in word processing, database management and electronic dictation.
As a part of Allied Health Profession which is also known as Paramedical Services. The paramedics generally learn besides their own selected specialty field, also learn subjects like Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Terminology, Medical Records, Fundamentals of Diseases and Diagnostic Procedure. These are Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Nutrition (Dietetics), Medical Psychology and many more. Medical Social Work, Public Relations and Medical Secretary have besides condensed combination of the above stipulated subjects such as hospital management program to deal with the day-to-day administrative and patient care issues.
The Allied Health Services have been playing vital role in taking away most of nonprofessional and administrative types of work from the highly qualified professionals, helping them and allowing the professionals to concentrate in their specialized field and not wasting time for nonmedical and for trivial jobs. In fact, in many ways the paramedics service cost much less than the highly paid specialty professionals. This is not only cost effective but also much more than that it contribute in swift and improved patient care resulting great service to general public.
Rapid Growth of Medicine
Medicine being dynamic and with advent of technology, the medical healthcare services are growing much faster and the patients and public expectation from the health institutions have also equally increased. Thus, the need for appropriate allied healthcare services has become essential. These services have been playing a vital role in taking away most of nonprofessional and administrative types of work from the highly qualified medical professionals, helping them and allowing them to contribute in their specialized field not wasting time for nonmedical and for trivial jobs. Yet, in many ways the paramedics service cost much less than the highly paid specialists. This is not only cost effective but much more than that, it contributes in swift, and improved patient care resulting great service to general public.
HOSPITAL PATIENT CARE RELATIONSHIP COORDINATOR
This unique position ‘Hospital Patient Care Relationship Coordinator (HPCRC)’ is one of allied healthcare professionals with paramedics related educational background, to co-ordinate and liaison between the medical, nursing, other allied healthcare services, administration, finance, transportation, etc. related to the patient care, and the patient, relatives or attendants of patients, referred institution and pubic. To ensure that patient healthcare issues are dealt promptly and judiciously to the utmost satisfaction of all. HPCRC job is to oversee the patient care services from the time of patient's registration or even earlier from the date of booking, and during patient's journey in the hospital as an emergency, outpatient or inpatient till his/her discharge from the hospital. During patient's voyage, the HPCRC has to deal with the medical, nursing, other allied health professionals, lab, radiology, pharmacy, wards, operation theaters, ICCU/CCU, insurance, billing, administration and many, depends on the type of care needed by patient. He has to ensure that patient's medical record including investigation reports are complete in all respects by arranging that related documents are promptly placed in the main patient's record to facilitate the healthcare providers to render their services efficiently. He has to maintain intra, inter-relationship within the hospital, and with the outside healthcare institutions related to continued patient care, insurance, legal and other matters to facilitate the patient or his relatives and institution for smooth functioning of the system. Even after discharge, for some cases, there are many other issues, e.g. death certificates, administrative and legal issues to be settled. Precisely, HPCRC is the envoy of patient as well as the hospital.
Need for a Book for Unique Position
The Author having realized the need for the comprehensive HPCRC book, included fundamentals of Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Terminology, Pathology, Laboratory, Radiology, Radiation Therapy, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Medical Psychology, Medical Social Work, Medical Records, Public Relations, Medical Secretarial Profession, Communication Skills, Leadership and Motivation. This book would of immense value to the hospitals, hospital patient care coordinators, medical social workers, medical records, medical secretaries, law professionals, medical representatives, insurance companies, and healthcare software developers to serve as textbook in their academic programs, professional career building, besides reference guide throughout. The special features of this position, is when too many people and departments in a healthcare organization playing the role of patient care, it would be hard to locate real setback, while the HPCRC can be handy acting as a single ‘window’ system concept to clarify and deal with the issue promptly.
The following are some of the tasks, not limited to, to be performed by HPCRC:
- To create a relationship with patients for cooperation and assistance
- Find out the patient's problems, if any and resolve promptly and judiciously
- Assist the needy patients/relatives or attendants whenever required
- Ensure the patient/relatives are guided and routed appropriately to concerned units
- Ensure the patient’ record is updated with all relevant information including investigation reports
- Arrange for counseling or any consultation required by patient
- Coordinate and Liaison with the concerned staff/departments regularly
- Follow–up the patient progress during the care as an outpatient, emergency or inpatient
- Alert the hospital departments in advance to provide the services recommended by physician
- Arrange transportation or any other service within the limits of hospital services
- Coordinate with the insurance companies to promptly respond to the institution's requirements and vice versa.
- Deal with outside institutions or public carefully related to patient care services
- Understand and explain the administrative or legal issues relate to patient care
- Maintain intra and inter-relationship within the hospital and with and with the outside healthcare institutions
- Realize that HPCRC is the envoy of patient as well as the hospital
- Understand and clarify any hospital billing issues appropriately
- When patient is in OT, ICU or ICCU or NICU, deal with relatives judiciously
- Represent as an envoy of patient and as well as hospital uniformly
- Maintain cordial relationship with patient/attendant/relatives; before, during and after discharge from the hospital
- Conduct regular orientation programs to enlighten the staff, the patient's difficulties or issues, and how they could be overcome or how to resolve or address amicably
- Obtain the innovative ideas from the staff of different units by brainstorming exercises, how to improve patient care relationship and services
- Act as a ‘single window’ concept to help the patient promptly by coordinating with concerned
- Harmonize with all the departments with the motto to serve the patient who is a nuclease, around which all the healthcare provider's efforts and services revolve.