6 Key Elements of Patient-Centered Care

We feel patient-centered care shouldn’t be optional. With medical care, it is the patient who is in need. It’s natural to prioritize them, focusing on providing the best treatment possible.

Several key elements can factor into the quality of a patient’s care. The following six represent some of the most important qualities of an ideal treatment model.

1. Doctor Familiarity

Patient-centered care requires that the doctors who treat you have a familiarity with your needs. After all, a patient-centered care model puts a patient first. This requires you to be the focus by design.

With our facilities, we take in a significant number of work-related injuries. The list of common work-related injuries is long, so our doctors work hard to stay familiar with what is likely to come in.

Patient-centered care avoids a “one-size-fits-all” approach. When a patient comes in, a doctor treats them as an individual. The solution the doctor comes up with is tailored to that patient’s unique needs and situation.

2. Evidence-Backed Medicine

A good deal of modern medical practices have to do with trends. Patients read about a new treatment popular with celebrities or pushed by a TV doctor, and then medical facilities provide.

Popular and even expensive treatments aren’t inherently ineffective. At the same time, neither price nor popularity promise results either. If a care provider wants the best for patients, all that matters is evidence.

If modern studies and best practices say a particular approach is ideal, a patient should get that care. If a patient wants something else, they are at least first owed an explanation why the doctor suggested the original treatment.

A patient has the final say over what they consent to, but patient-centered care ensures they at least stay informed.

3. Attentive, Trained Staff

What is patient-centered care if the staff involved in their treatment aren’t adequately trained? The people working at a care center need to be attentive and know how best to do their duties.

The most obvious place where this matters is with doctors and nurses. These people make big decisions about the treatment of patients, which can have long-lasting consequences. However, other staff matter too.

If a person is involved in the patient’s treatment process, even if they only process paperwork, they’re still important. Misfiled paperwork can cause major problems for insurance, which has the potential to seriously affect a patient.

We’re proud of our team for a reason. We take special care to make sure they maintain the appropriate level of expertise in their field and have familiarity with our procedures. Patients deserve the best.

4. Good Pain Management

While not a major problem in every kind of care, pain management is often overlooked. In medicine, pain exists in a strange place because it can dramatically affect lives, but isn’t always dangerous.

Some medical professionals underestimate how pain is harming a patient. It can make life emotionally very difficult, hurt your sleep, and prevent you from working. Patient-centered care requires good pain management.

We believe good pain management is a balancing act. No patient deserves to live in pain. At the same time, we know that pain medications have their own risks that we also don’t ignore.

Like so much in medicine, good pain management is tailored to the patient. The goal is to help them live the fullest life they can.

5. Solid Recovery/Aftercare

Somewhat related to pain management, but important enough to warrant its own section, is aftercare. A patient-centered model can’t end as soon as the patient leaves the facility.

Tracking the recovery of a patient after their initial treatment is important. Sometimes recovery is slower than expected or unexpected issues arise. Someone not trained in medicine won’t always know what “normal” recovery looks like.

By following up with a patient, a facility can make sure everything is going smoothly. If any issues are detected, it can be early in the process. This usually makes solving them significantly easier.

Good medical care doesn’t stop until the patient’s quality of life is as high as modern medicine can allow for. Aftercare is a critical step in that journey.

6. Empathy

While a broad point, the necessity of empathy in patient-centered care needs to be emphasized. Treatment facilities cannot lose track of the human being in their care. A person is more than their immediate medical issues.

At a basic level, this means things like having staff with good bedside manners. Getting treated for serious medical issues can represent a very stressful experience. Empathy makes getting through it much easier.

Having empathy for patients means explaining things clearly and clarifying any confusion. While patients cannot always understand the specifics of medicine, there is usually a way to explain enough that they know what is happening.

It also means, when possible, addressing their fears. If a patient is worried something may hurt or cause them anxiety, staff owe them a breakdown of the situation.

Patient-Centered Care Made Easy

To us, patient-centered care feels like the natural approach to medicine. The patient is the most important part of the treatment process. It stands to reason they get prioritized.

If you have an interest in getting treated for an injury, read more about our patient-care facilities. You can learn what we offer and see the many ways we can help.