In patient centred care, your loved one’s specific health needs and preferred outcomes are at the heart of all healthcare decisions made. Being person-centred is about focusing on the needs of the individual and providing care which is dignified, respectful and responsive.
In this article, we’ve explained the concept of patient centred care in more detail, along with its benefits.
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Patient centred care revolves around caring for people (and their families) in a way which is meaningful and valuable to the individual receiving care. This type of care involves listening to people receiving care and making sure they’re always properly informed so they know what’s going on. Your loved one won’t just be treated from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, spiritual, social and financial perspective.
The National Academy of Medicine defines patient-centred care as:
“Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”
Patient-centred care encourages people receiving care, their families and providers to all work with each other and make shared decisions so they can create a comprehensive care plan and care package.
Several things affect how care is delivered:
The main goal (and benefit) of patient-centred care is to improve health outcomes for individuals receiving care, whether that be in a hospital, a residential care home or somewhere else.
Not only do people receiving care benefit, but providers and healthcare systems benefit as well, through:
Seven main aspects of patient-centred care were developed using a wide range of focus groups - including people who formerly received care, family members, physicians and other hospital staff - along with researchers from the Harvard Medical School and other analyses.
These principles were later adapted to include an eighth aspect - access to care. Researchers found that certain practices are much more likely to lead to a positive outcome for somebody receiving care, with these findings forming Picker’s eight principles of person-centred care.
These principles address every area of care, with this approach being widely recognised as the preferred model of care.
People receiving care should be involved in the decision-making process. Feeling as though you’re being treated like an individual with your own unique values, preferences and beliefs will make a huge difference to emotional wellbeing. People should be treated with dignity in care, respect and sensitivity.
Three areas were identified in which care coordination can reduce feelings of vulnerability:
Sometimes when you feel unwell, you may feel anxious and as though you aren’t fully in control. Properly coordinated care can go a long way to minimising these feelings.
Hospitals and other care facilities can get around this concern by focusing on three types of communication:
Anxiety is often expressed towards not being properly informed about a condition or prognosis.
According to people receiving care, the three most important areas are:
The level of physical comfort experienced has a big impact on someone’s experience when receiving care.
Caregivers should pay the most attention to:
Worries and anxiety felt towards illnesses can have as big an impact as any physical effects.
Here are the ways in which family and friends can play the biggest role in person-centred care:
Meeting needs in this area requires the following:
Many people receiving care worry about their ability to look after themselves once they’re no longer in care.
When it comes to accessing care, the following areas are seen as particularly important:
It’s really important that people receiving care - such as care home residents - understand they’re able to access care when it’s needed and know how to do so.
Patient centred care can take place across several different healthcare settings, including different care home types, speciality providers and emergency care.
Here are a few examples of how person-focused care works:
Through patient-centred care, care has a bigger emphasis on what somebody requires, rather than just their diagnosis. As a result, doctors will form trusted relationships. Empathy and eye-to-eye contact both allow a doctor to look beyond immediate symptoms and instead think about what else is required. This could include financial counselling, emotional support, transportation and day-to-day living assistance - such as that provided in a care home.
In a patient-centred care model, strict visiting hours and visitor restrictions are a thing of the past. Instead, people choose who can visit and when. Family members can make regular visits to their loved ones, allowing them to feel a part of the care team by joining in discussions and being involved with care decisions. When not at the hospital, they’ll be kept informed of their loved one’s progress through regular updates.
Patient-centred care extends to treatments and therapies. Just like care plans in a care home, medications are often customised as well. Somebody’s individual genetics can now be harnessed to create personalised medications and therapies, along with bespoke information that helps doctors and similar people work out the best medicines for each person receiving care.
Much like patient-centred care, person-centred care ensures that people stay engaged, healthy and able to make their own choices. Person-centred approaches underpin existing dementia support, palliative care homes and end of life care frameworks.
The NHS is bringing these programmes together and identifying what’s required by everyone involved to ensure people receive an amazing standard of personalised care.
This work will model the six principles produced by the People and Communities Board, alongside the New Models of Care Vanguard Sites, to change the way that health and care relate to people and communities.
These principles require that:
Above all, these principles lay out a basis for excellent person-centred care.
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