What does this term mean and why is it important to you? It means looking at care from the perspective of the patient and determining what needs to shift to keep the patient at the center.
Examples of non-patient centered care:
- Turning on the lights of the hospital room at night in order to take vital signs
- Making a patient wait in the emergency department for over an hour to be transported to a nursing unit
- Not responding to a request for help because it is change of shift and the nurses are all charting
- Providing patient education materials written at a college level, which is incomprehensible to many patients
- Not verifying a patient understands instruction
- Not calling the patient after discharge from a hospital to make sure he or she understands instructions or to answer questions
- Designing buildings of the convenience of staff and not for the patient
- Forcing families to spend long hours in waiting areas not knowing what was taking place with their family member
- Keeping a medical record away from patients and family members
There is a different model: the Planetree one, named after the tree under which Socrates sat and taught his students. Here is a brief summary of the Planetree model:
“Since our founding by a patient in 1978, Planetree has defined what it means to be patient-centered. Planetree’s philosophy is based on a simple premise: care should be organized first and foremost around the needs of patients. To understand those needs Planetree turned to the source. Thousands of focus groups—from bedside to boardroom—with patients, long-term care residents, families and professional caregivers across the globe have borne out their needs and desires for a more personalized, humanized and demystified health care experience.”
Here are the four concepts of patient and family centered care:
Dignity and respect: Healthcare practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
Information sharing: Healthcare practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
Participation: Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
Collaboration: Patients and families are included on an institution-wide basis. Healthcare leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluations; in healthcare facility design, in professional education; and in the delivery of care. (1)
How does your primary care provider measure up? How does your hospital treat you as a patient or your family member? Share your thoughts.
Watch our videotip on why you need to be a patient advocate.
(1) Robert Bunting, Introduction to a culture, process, and philosophy, Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2010