13 May What is Patient-Centered Care?
After an injury, not only is your body trying to heal, but you are also likely seeking personalized pain management and specialized treatments to abate pain and expedite recovery.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all take on treatment services, patient-centered medical care is, simply, more caring. The Institute of Medicine defines patient-centered 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-centered care encourages collaboration and shared decision-making between patients and providers so that treatment options can be specifically designed for each person and each injury. This type of comprehensive care plan considers communication, comfort, and coordination for treatment success.
What Does Patient-Centered Care Offer?
- Patient Respect: Above all, individual respect and human dignity are paramount when providing medical treatment. Depending on each patient’s religious preferences, cultural norms, or personal fears, treatment can and should be tailored to maximize consideration and respect of the patient’s treatment goals.
- Emotional Support: After an injury, the body physically must work to repair itself. Similarly, in the course of injury treatment, emotional support must be readily available so that anxiety and stress can be decreased. Stress can make pain from an injury worse, so patient-centered medical care works to align treatment goals so both the physical and mental needs of a patient are being fully supported.
- Access to Care: Feeling that treatment providers are accessible is among the top needs of patients seeking care. From scheduling appointments to following through with any needed additional referrals, patients look solely to their treatment provider for advice and guidance.
Has Patient-Centered Care Been Proven Effective to Speed Recovery?
Yes, one study analyzed the effects of patient-centered care for those recovering from severe injuries and found that patients who received specific patient-centered care interventions had “a
clinically and a statistically significant reduction in the percentage of any severe postinjury
concerns expressed over the course of the six months after injury hospitalization.”
While patient-centered care has been proven effective, this type of treatment option is not widespread. One survey found that 70% of patients polled had trouble scheduling an appointment or receiving advice over the telephone. Many patients still feel disappointed with the communication between their primary caregivers and other treatment specialists.
Increasing Access to Patient-Centered Care
Patients are becoming increasingly interested in their own healthcare and in finding workable treatments. For example, 80% of people who use the Internet search for health information online.
A chief advocate of patient-centered care, Dr. James Rickert, has said that one of the fundamental principles of patient-centered care is that “patients know best how well their health providers are meeting their needs.”
Treatment facilities who engage in patient-centered care should continue the trend, other practitioners should embrace this more holistic approach and patients should ask for better communication and increased respect.
Patient-centered medical care is just more effective. Injury treatment will certainly include prescribing medications and providing physical therapy, but the important additional and wrap-around services involved in providing patient-centered care make this type of treatment option more caring, more impactful, and more effective.