The Basis of Patient Care

The subject of clinical work process and total patient care is not covered well in most textbooks dealing with clinical methods or medicine in general. Medical students somehow acquire an understanding of the approach to patient care despite (in my opinion) an incoherent exposition to the subject.

A search via the internet results in a fairly long list of articles  and posts but few if any describe exactly the processes of patient care that can be understood by someone new to the subject. It would appear that understanding of it is assumed.  The term process as applied in other industrial endeavors is seldom used in medical circles except when discussing quality management and clinical information systems.

Actually, clinical work processes in the guise of Nursing Process is very familiar to nurses. Unfortunately, it is considered as a special technique rather than something more fundamental. The current feeling is that “Nursing Process” has been superseded by “Nursing Care Plan”.

In practice, the method of caring for patients and their disease guided by a defined sequence of clinical processes is used by all direct care providers (clinicians) be they doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, counselors, and clinical psychologists. Currently in some instances, optometrists and audiologists (audiometrists) are also care practitioners i.e. they manage some patients on their own. They would therefore be guided by the same processes.

You can read my articles about this subject entitled “Overall Clinical Care” and “Clinical Information System“.

Abdollah Salleh

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