Patient Centered Care

What is Patient Centred Care?

Patient-centered care is the provision of what is necessary for the health of an individual, organized around the person and their self-defined family.

  • The care system considers the individual needs of people and treats them with respect and dignity
  • People’s cultural traditions, personal preferences, values, family situations and lifestyles are acknowledged and incorporated into care.
  • Care enhances the continuing relationship between the person and their care team.

(Northern Health, 2013- note, they called this Person-Centered Family-Focused care)

Patient-centered care and the Health Care System:

Patient-centered care is a quality of personal, professional, and organizational relationships. Thus, efforts to promote patient-centered care should consider patient-centeredness of patients (and their families), clinicians, and health systems. Helping patients to be more active in consultations changes centuries of physician-dominated dialogues to those that engage patients as active participants. Training physicians to be more mindful, informative, and empathic transforms their role from one characterized by authority to one that has the goals of partnership, solidarity, empathy, and collaboration.  (Epstein and Street. 2011 The Values and Value of Patient-centered Care. Ann Fam Med March/April Vol. 9 No. 2 pp.100-103)

….call it patient-centeredness if you will. . . It welcomes me to assert my humanity, my individuality, my uniqueness…..I suggest to you that this is not a route to the point.  It is the point.” 

Don Berwick, MD

Working to redesign care systems

It is widely accepted that patient-centeredness must be an attribute of any health care system.  Quality improvement aimed at redesign systems of care are increasingly incorporating the patient voice in the process of transformation, but there is still much work to do.  If you and your organization are embarking on system redesign improvements consider engaging patients in the planning process.

Contact us to find out more.

 “Patient-centeredness is a dimension of health care quality in its own right, not just because of its connection with other desired aims, like safety and effectiveness. Its proper incorporation into new health care designs will involve some radical, unfamiliar, and disruptive shifts in control and power, out of the hands of those who give care and into the hands of those who receive it. New designs, like the so-called medical home, should incorporate that change.”1

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[1] Berwick, D. “What Patient-centered Should Mean: Confessions of an Extremist”  Health Affairs July/August 2009vol. 28 no. 4 w555-w565

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