Patient-Centered Care: Principles and Importance

Patient-centered care is also called client-centered care and it is a ‘patient-centric approach to medicine and healthcare along with its processes. Patient-centered care is a philosophy on how the patients, providers, or other participants view the process of their healing and treatment.
Patient-centered care is defined as the act of “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, values, needs and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions”. Patient-centered care prizes transparency, empathy, and empowerment.
The increase of patient-centered care means that healthcare systems are becoming more optimized in prioritizing comfort and care of the patients, their families and communities. It would not be wrong to say that patient-centered care is also a new outlook of healthcare. However, there are some consistent core ideas and principles that guide this new style of healthcare. On behalf of Picker Institute and The Commonwealth Fund, researchers from Harvard Medical School have recognized the following principles of patient-centered care.

1. Respecting Patients’ Preferences

At every phase of the care, patients must be given all the information that is needed to make informed decisions about their healthcare. A patient’s personal preference has to be considered when deciding upon the care plan. All caregiving members must be involved and on the same page, working toward the same goal.

2. Offering Personalized Care and Treatment

This principle requires a provider to understand that what works for one patient may not work for another. A standardized approach can negatively affect how quickly a patient can recover. A customized care service according to the condition of each patient can make them feel more empowered and help them recover faster when they will feel that their wants and needs are being met.

3. Physical Comfort

Physical comfort is really important and can help a patient put himself at ease especially when he is summoning the courage to go through a treatment process that can feel painful, scary, and difficult. Providers have to ensure that the patient’s environment is helping him and that he should feel comfortable and safe.

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4. Emotional Support

Healthcare treatments can take a toll on a patient’s body as well as on his mind. When it comes to patient-centered care, it must be kept in mind that a patient is a whole person who needs a human connection and personalized support to keep up his optimism.

5. Involving Family and Friends

Patient-centered care encourages patients and their family members or loved ones to stay connected to feel optimistic, well cared for – both of which are crucial in recovering faster. Practitioners should involve important people from the patient’s life for the kind of personal support which only they can offer.

6. Access to Care

As much as it is possible, patients should have access to the care they conveniently need at all times so that it reduces the stress in their healthcare routine. Access to care should be simple, like being able to schedule appointments and talk to the healthcare provider.
This is where telehealth like Hucu.ai can make a big difference. Hucu.ai offers patient-centered HIPAA compliant messaging, optimized for those caring for seniors. We make it easy for healthcare teams within and across organizations to stay connected. Hucu.ai is streamlining patient-centered medical care and transition communication. Both Fee for Service and Value Based Care organizations use Hucu.ai to help reduce preventable hospitalizations while improving care coordination and healthcare collaboration.
Practice groups providing on site care for some of the highest risk patients in nursing homes (SNFs) now have the ability to bring teams together via Hucu.ai. Your distributed virtual workforce forms a cohesive and inclusive culture while delivering optimal patient-centered care. All supported by the right messaging infrastructure.

Why is Patient Centered Care so Important?

The increasing demand of healthcare can cause caregivers to focus less on the person they are treating and more on the treatment itself. This is why person-centered care is important because it helps the caregivers to shift their focus on fulfilling the patient’s needs beyond their ailment. This way the patient feels wholly cared for as a human being. Person-centered care is important for patients for various reasons that are also important for healthcare providers.

They will feel more comfortable in your service

Because supporting a patient’s independence and upholding his dignity builds mutual respect, the patient will trust the provider and it will make it easier for the healthcare provider to treat the patient.

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Patients are more likely to stick to treatment plans

When patients feel respected, engaged and in control, they will stick to their treatment plans and that in turn lessens the burden on healthcare providers to keep a check on the patients.

Hospitals in the US are extremely strained

When a patient is more informed about his condition, they would be more confident in approaching their ailment and avoid unnecessary hospitalization.

It motivates patients to stick with positive health behaviors

It helps them manage their own health. This is particularly important for people with long-term conditions, who rely on healthcare services.

It is time and cost-effective

Personalized care ensures patients receive medication that they are more likely to take on time. The provider will be spending time and money on what patients actually need.
To know more on how healthcare organizations implement patient-centered care, check out this blog.
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