Consumers are having a greater influence on healthcare than ever before. With value-based payment models and patient-centered care changing the landscape of the health industry, it’s time we paid attention to patients and how to best serve them.
But what exactly does this model of care entail, and how does it differ from the traditional model of care?
What is patient-centered care?
Patient-centered care is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the individual patient’s well-being in all facets—including their emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial needs.
The primary goal of this care model is to improve individual health outcomes. This is accomplished through a partnership between patients, care teams, families, and providers that encourages shared decision-making and active participation from all parties. Healthcare facilities can prioritize patient-centered care by achieving high-quality interactions where patients feel they are valued and heard, their opinions are taken into consideration, and they receive clear explanations in regard to diagnoses and treatments.
3 reasons why you need patient-centered care
Now that you understand what patient-centered care is, it’s important to see how it could improve the standard of care delivered by your healthcare organization. Learn the three biggest reasons you need this type of care at your facility.
1. It helps empower patients to engage in their care
Patient-centered care is empowering. By playing an active role in their care, patients learn good habits and how to care for themselves. They also take control of the decisions that affect their health. This confidence encourages people to do everything in their power to support their own well-being.
2. It results in higher patient satisfaction
When people receive patient-centered care, they feel as though their needs and preferences are being met at a higher level because they are receiving more personalized care. Collaboration between individuals, their loved ones, and members of their care team can expedite healing and create a healthier environment for both patients and staff. Subsequently, higher satisfaction rates can lead to an increased perception of reputation, more patients, and an improved ROI.
3. It results in better patient outcomes
Studies show that patients who are satisfied with their quality of care are more likely to be compliant with treatment. When patients feel supported and understood by their healthcare providers and follow the recommended treatment plan, they are far more likely to heal at a faster rate than those who don’t receive customized care.
The 8 principles of patient-centered care
Research from Harvard Medical School identified eight principles that guide patient-centered care. These principles are fundamental to improving the quality of care for all patients and can be used to design the way your healthcare organization delivers care.
1. Respect for patients’ values and preferences
It should go without saying that your patients are human beings, first and foremost. They have direct and indirect needs and desires related to their care that should be acknowledged to provide an overall positive healthcare experience.
2. Coordination and integration of care
Defined as “the deliberate organization of patient care activities between two or more participants (including the patient) involved in a patient’s care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of healthcare services,” care coordination ensures that care delivery is tailored to individual patients.
3. Information, communication, and education
It’s crucial for healthcare facilities to prioritize educating and training their employees on how to offer the best quality of care, be transparent with their patients, and communicate openly with each other and patients. Empowering staff with knowledge and the tools necessary to hyper-communicate should always be a main goal.
4. Physical comfort: pain management, assistance with daily living, and improved hospital surroundings
Hospitals are already an uncomfortable, unfamiliar space that can feel like an obstacle when patients are trying to heal. By making sure patients’ pain levels are as low as possible and helping them accomplish everyday tasks with ease, care providers can create a restorative environment.
5. Emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety
In addition to the physical symptoms and pain that people experience while trying to recover from injury or illness, many patients suffer from anxiety and depression after being admitted to a hospital. A 2016 study on surgical patients published in the Oman Medical Journal revealed that “depression and anxiety symptoms increased from the time of admission toward longer hospital stay.” Addressing these mental health symptoms offer a full view of what the patient is going through—both physically and mentally. With this knowledge, clinicians can treat them holistically.
6. Timely access to care
For many illnesses, a timely diagnosis and plan of action are crucial for a patient’s well-being. Failing to have timely access to quality healthcare can literally mean life or death for some.
7. Involvement of family and friends
Social support from family members and friends is extremely beneficial to maintaining optimal physical and mental health and may even moderate genetic and environmental vulnerabilities to promote healing.
8. Continuity and a secure transition between healthcare settings
A smooth transition between healthcare settings requires a two-pronged approach: implement consistent quality of care across departments and staff members and maintain clean, comforting environments throughout the healthcare facility that promote healing. This is very important for patients with multiple or chronic conditions—especially the elderly.
How technology helps you achieve patient-centered care
While patient-centered care can seem intimidating, all it boils down to is sincerely listening to the patient and working with all of their care providers to offer the best quality of services and treatment possible. With the help of innovative technology, providing patient-centered care can now be easier than ever.
Managing care teams through comprehensive software programs can ensure that each clinician who sees a patient is brought up to speed on any changes in their health with communication from other team members. Patient Relationship Management (PRM) systems simplify workflows so that providers can focus on what really matters—prioritizing their patients and delivering high-quality care.
To learn more about the benefits of using a PRM, read our article, “What Is Patient Relationship Management & Why Is It Important?” Gain insight into exactly how a PRM can drastically improve how your healthcare organization facilitates patient-centered care—and ultimately, as a side benefit, skyrocket growth at your workplace.