Navigating the World of Healthcare Quality: Essential Benchmarks Every Patient Should Know

Quality Healthcare measurement & metrics

Modern healthcare has made remarkable advancements, shaping the way we understand diseases, consult doctors, and actively participate in decision-making. However, for many patients, navigating the complex world of healthcare can be intimidating and overwhelming. With numerous options, patients often struggle to differentiate between what is beneficial and what is not, what is accurate, what isn’t and what are the right benchmarks that could enable them to find the right care for them.

While reputation, proximity, doctor availability and availability of insurance and medi-claim facilities are some of the most considered factors, there is one determinant that is often overlooked–quality!

But what is quality in the context of healthcare? Can it really be measured? Can understanding quality empower patients to make informed decisions about their care? The answer is YES! In this blog, we will explore essential metrics that define healthcare quality and empower patients to make well-informed choices for their care.

What is quality in healthcare? 

Quality in healthcare refers to the level of excellence demonstrated by healthcare facilities and professionals to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way for the right person and have the best results possible (ref). In fact, there is a growing acknowledgement that quality health services should be

  • Effective– providing evidence-based healthcare services to those who need them
  • Safe–avoiding harm to people for whom the care is intended and 
  • People centred–providing care that responds to individual preferences, needs and values (WHO).

At Practo, we are committed to making high quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all and in this process have enabled a number of processes and markers. Infact, Practo became the first digital healthcare company in India to receive the prestigious Quality and Accreditation Institute (QAI) accreditation for our telehealth services, setting new industry standards to ensure that patients receive exceptional care, every step of the way. 

In every action we take, quality and patient centricity takes centre stage and for that we have introduced processes that enable us to continue providing high quality healthcare to all. Some of these processes or quality markers include:

  1. Credentialing

Practo has a robust credentialing process for all healthcare providers on its platform. This ensures that only qualified professionals can connect with patients and offer their services.

Here’s how it works:

Practo’s in-house medical team consisting of experienced professionals thoroughly verifies the qualifications of every healthcare provider. This includes checking official documentation like medical degrees, licences, certifications and verifying years of experience, enabling patients to make informed choices. They also perform background checks to ensure patient safety.

  1. Randomised Quality Audits

Practo prioritises consistent high-quality care through its internal medical team’s randomised quality audits of teleconsultations. This approach ensures objectivity by selecting doctors for review at random, going beyond predictable, pre-selected lists. If an audit identifies areas for improvement, Practo fosters a collaborative environment. They initiate conversations with doctors to explore corrective measures and may recommend additional training to ensure doctors meet the established standards. These audits are done ensuring privacy with the patient confidential details being redacted at the time of the audit.

  1. Patient Stories and Moderation

At Practo, we believe in patient-centred healthcare. That’s why we created Patient Stories, a platform where patients can share their honest experiences with doctors.  These stories offer valuable insights into appointment experiences, helping patients make informed decisions.  

To ensure access to reliable information, a dedicated team of experts meticulously reviews each story. We verify its authenticity, moderate content for helpfulness and clarity, blurring medical specifics if needed, and remove any inappropriate content. We even leverage advanced tools to automatically identify potentially suspicious stories. This multi-layered approach guarantees Patient Stories remain a trustworthy source. Practo reviews thousands of patient stories daily. This commitment to transparency empowers patients to find the right doctor while fostering stronger doctor-patient relationships.

  1. Clinical Excellence Score

In a revolutionary first for the industry, Practo Dental Clinics also introduced the “Clinic Excellence Score” which is not just any score but something that puts control back into the hands of the patients. Through a thorough audit process, our medical team meticulously evaluates every partner clinic based on state-of-the-art equipment, cutting-edge processes, hygiene practices, safety measures, and patient-centric conveniences. These assessments and ratings are backed by 100+ customer and research-based evidence, creating a trusted marker for patients to identify the quality of clinics and their in-clinic experience right from the comfort of their home. In fact, we’ve placed such emphasis on quality that only Clinics with a 4+ rating are on boarded as part of Practo Dental Clinics. We also help clinics improve their score by sharing suggestions and feedback. 

  1. Data Security

At Practo, safeguarding sensitive healthcare data is paramount, reflected in our continuous efforts to upgrade and maintain robust data protection measures. Utilising ‘gold standard’ security protocols and proprietary technologies, we employ superior encryption methods akin to those used in banking systems. Our stringent security measures include multiple layers of encryption (256-bit encryption), converting plaintext data into incomprehensible ciphertext to fortify against unauthorised intrusion. With systems vigilant for any changes, discrepancies are promptly flagged, ensuring data integrity. Our commitment extends to regular risk analysis, vulnerability assessments, and membership in the Digital Security Council of India, bolstering our ISO 27001 certification and adherence to HIPAA-compliant data centres.

In addition to these specific measurement tools and processes we have a detailed Code of Ethics which is our north star in ensuring that every patient who uses our platform receives the highest quality of care. 

The Practo Code of Ethics

The Practo Code of Ethics emphasises the importance of upholding sound professional principles and ensuring that patients remain at the core of every decision we make. Our values include: 

  • Prioritising patient safety and quality care in all situations and ensuring patients’ well-being and treatment quality is paramount.
  • Complying with all laws, regulations, and guidelines to improve quality of care.
  • Adhering strictly to legal and regulatory standards to enhance healthcare quality.
  • Preserving user privacy with secure data management.
  • Instilling and promoting honesty and transparency in all operations.
  • Above all maintaining integrity in business for long-term success over profits: Upholding ethical business practices as a foundation for sustainable growth and success.

Every step we have taken in the past and continue to take, with the objective of empowering patients with knowledge about healthcare quality is the first step towards making informed decisions about their well-being. By utilising the resources available and understanding the aspects that define quality care, one can navigate the healthcare landscape with confidence. Practo remains committed to being the preferred  partner in this journey for both doctors and patients, fostering transparency and providing exceptional service every step of the way.

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