Understanding the Importance of Patient-Centered Care
Patient-Centered Care

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”- William Osler

The healthcare industry has come a long way and has evolved through several factors. These factors include changes in the practice of medicine and technological advancements. Among those, one is changing its facet in the healthcare industry. It is patient-oriented care, also known as patient-centered care. The idea of such oriented care came back in 2007. It got widespread in no time because of its positive results in delivering personalized care to the patients.

In patient-centered care, healthcare providers focus on keeping the patient at the center of the treatment. They place coordinated care and improve access, quality, prevention and safety of the patients. In simple words, such care focuses on patient’s needs, giving them the help they need, when they need, and the way they need. People have different values, preferences, etc. that define their different outcome. In the same way, the healthcare system must work by taking into account these methods. And, their care must come from their unique experiences, backgrounds, and lifestyles. This personalized care also focuses on educating people in the matter of health. It aims at imparting knowledge about preventive services, vaccinations, and regular examination. As a result, current and future patients will be well-informed about their illness. They will also be proactive in taking preventative measures in their daily lives. Moreover, patients will learn about their treatments and will be able to take a decision about the same. Ultimately, the patients will feel positive knowing the outcome of the treatment. They will believe in healthcare and will recognize their own role in receiving this customized care.

Quick Layout

The following points describe the agendas of patient-centered care:

  • Offer quality services
  • Meet the patient’s diverse needs
  • Provide high-quality care and its education
  • Prioritize individualized care
  • Cost-effective Treatment

The Eight Principles of Patient-centered Care

Researchers from Harvard medical school have defined eight principles of patient-centered care, which are:

Respecting Patient’s Values, needs, and Preferences

Patients must receive care with respect, dignity, and sensitivity to their relevant cultures. On the patient’s part, they should recognize their values and preferences about the treatment. They are involved in the decision-making process.

Coordination and Integration of Care

Patients often express their vulnerability of being powerless in illness. The healthcare provider’s job here is to elevate such feelings. They can help in the coordination of clinical care, support, services, and full-time care.

Patient Enlightenment

Patients often reveal their worries and concerns about their illness. They confess that they are not aware of the treatment. Here, the hospital’s role is to provide complete information on status, progress, and prognosis. They should also tell them the process of care and the information to ease self-healthcare and health promotion.

Physical Comfort

The level of physical comfort during treatment can have a positive effect on the patient and their experience. The areas to be managed here are; pain management, daily assistance, and facilitates for hospital surroundings and environment.

Emotional Support and Eliminating Fear and Anxiety

Anxieties can severely affect the patients, their illness and can create discomfort for the family members. Healthcare providers must pay attention to the anxiety of patients over physical status, treatment, and prognosis. They should also pay attention to the patient’s anxieties developed over the financial aspects of the treatments.

Family and Friends Involvement

Here, family and friends’ role is to provide support and comfort to improve the patient experience. On the opposite, the healthcare provider’s role is to arrange accommodation for the family and friends and involve them in the shared decision-making process. They should provide support to the family members and ask them to do the same for the patient. Although patient-centered, the hospitals should also care for the family and friend’s needs.

Continuity and Transition

After the patient’s discharge, they should be able to care for themselves. Their role here is to understand information about after-discharge self-care such as medication, physical limitations etc. Healthcare providers should coordinate after the treatment and provide information on access to clinic, social, physical and financial support on a continuity basis.

Access to Care

The patients should feel that all the needs they require, after the treatment, would be provided to them when needed. Healthcare provider’s role here is to help discharged patients with easy access to clinics and physician’s offices. Not only that, but they should also help them in transportation, appointments, and accessibility to specialized services.

Asking the Right Questions

As mentioned earlier, patient-centered care, focus on the health outcomes of patients with their preferences. Hence, they themselves should ask the healthcare provider the right questions. A healthy treatment requires continues communication with the patients. By such, both healthcare provider and receiver can make the best possible decision. They will also be aware of the possible outcomes. What will be the side effects of this treatment? Is it possible cancer will reappear later? What is the financial support from your hospital for this disease? Answers to such questions will break the communication barriers between the healthcare provider, its receiver, and family. Also, with a current on-going wave of digitization, patients can access healthcare options on their computer, cell phones etc. This contributes to having more participation coming from a well-informed patient.

Outcome that Matters

Every patient wishes for a good outcome. They can achieve such by identifying which treatment options work best for them. They should also study the effectiveness of these treatments. The role of caretakers and physicians is to provide the patient with the necessary info to take better healthcare decisions with the patient’s preference. Physicians who have passed the PANCE exam are well trained in achieving this role and simply being there for their patients. Additionally, this will put the care receivers in front and center of the treatment and will answer all their questions.

The idea of patient-centered care is made for the welfare of the patient’s need and requirement. Thus, it is important to focus on patients and people’s preferences, which can change over the course of time. The challenge here is the mixed findings among people as patient-centered care means different to different people. As a result, it is more important to think about how to put patient-oriented care into practice, so as both parties can understand the benefit of this mutual approach.

Recent Posts