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In recent years, there is a growing concern about how to improve the relationship between healthcare providers and their patients to facilitate better health quality and safety. Several research shows that, to get an optimum result as a healthcare provider, two key factors are essential—patient satisfaction and outcome. To achieve this, prioritizing person centred care is of utmost importance.

Image of a care giver and her patient practising person-centred care

This is because the concept places individuals at the forefront of their care, recognizing their unique needs, preferences, and values. In this article, we will explore the meaning of person-centred care in the health sector, its elements, and its impacts on the healthcare industry.

What is Person-Centred Care?

According to World Health Organization, person centred care means “empowering people to take charge of their health rather than being passive recipients of services.” It is a philosophy that prioritizes the individual receiving care, placing their needs, values, and preferences at the center of the healthcare experience. Also, it involves a collaborative partnership between healthcare providers and patients, where decisions are made jointly, and individuals are actively involved in their own care.

It is an approach with the belief that all individuals have the right to be treated with dignity, respect, as well as compassion. And that their unique needs and preferences are important when planning and delivering care. Consequently, care shouldn’t only be transactional but must be empathetic and compassionate to increase interactions between caregivers and their patients

Additionally, the concept of person centred care further emphasizes the need for the involvement of the patient’s family and friends, as they are an integral part of the person's life, and they can provide valuable insights into the person's needs, preferences, and values.

Elements of Person-Centred Care

To achieve the set objectives behind person-centred approach, there are certain elements that you have to take into consideration. This includes:

Respect for Autonomy

Individuals have the right to make informed decisions about their healthcare based on their values and preferences. Therefore, it is inherent that healthcare providers should support and empower patients in making choices that align with their goals.

Holistic Approach

Here, the concept acknowledges that healthcare extends beyond physical symptoms and includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It addresses the whole person, considering their individual circumstances and providing comprehensive support.

Effective Communication

Healthcare providers must master effective communication. This fosters open and honest communication between healthcare providers, thereby establishing trust and good relationships. Active listening, empathy, and clear information sharing foster understanding as well as better decision-making.

Promoting person-centred care

Access to Care

As a healthcare organization, it is important to help your patients to foster better access to care by making referrals accessible. You should also streamline appointment schedules, and provide information on the mode of transportation and the cost.

Individualized Care Plans

Person-centred care involves tailoring care plans to meet the unique needs of each individual. This may include considering cultural, spiritual, and personal preferences to provide care that aligns with the patient's values and goals.

Continuity of Care

Seamless coordination and continuity of care across different healthcare settings and providers are essential in person-centred care. This ensures that individuals receive consistent and well-coordinated care throughout their healthcare journey.

Importance of Person-Centred Care to the Healthcare Industry

Person-centered care is becoming an increasingly popular approach to care in the healthcare industry and is seen as an effective way to deliver high-quality, compassionate care that promotes the well-being of the individual and can be seen in areas such as:

Improved Patient Outcomes

Person-centred care focuses on meeting the unique needs and preferences of individuals. By involving patients in their own care decisions, healthcare providers can better understand their goals, concerns, and values, leading to improved treatment outcomes. Moreover, when patients actively participate in their care, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, engage in healthier behaviors, and experience better overall health outcomes.

Enhanced Patient Satisfaction

Person-centred care prioritizes the patient's experience and satisfaction. By valuing the individual as an active participant in their healthcare journey, this approach fosters trust, empathy, and effective communication between patients and healthcare providers. When patients feel heard, respected, and involved in decision-making, their satisfaction with the care they receive increases significantly.

Empowerment and Autonomy

Person-centred care empowers individuals to take control of their health and healthcare decisions. It recognizes their autonomy and promotes shared decision-making. This allows patients to choose treatment options that align with their personal values and goals. Empowering patients in this way promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility for their own health. As a result, there will be greater engagement and improved self-management.

Tailored and Holistic Care

Each person has unique needs, preferences, and circumstances that must be considered in the delivery of healthcare. Person-centred care acknowledges the importance of addressing the whole person, considering their physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being. By tailoring care plans to individual needs and considering their holistic health, healthcare providers can provide more effective and comprehensive care.

Patient Safety

Person-centred care promotes a collaborative relationship between patients and healthcare providers, fostering open communication and information sharing. This collaborative approach enhances patient safety by reducing medical errors, ensuring accurate medication management, and increasing patient involvement. When patients are active participants in their care, they can identify and report potential risks or concerns. This act will undoubtedly contribute to safer healthcare practices.

Health Equity and Reduced Disparities

Person-centred care recognizes the diverse needs of different populations and aims to provide care that is culturally sensitive, respectful, and inclusive. By understanding this, healthcare providers can work towards reducing health disparities and promoting health equity. This approach ensures that healthcare services are accessible and appropriate for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Recap and Final Thoughts

Person-centred care is a fundamental approach that prioritizes individuals in healthcare, recognizing their unique needs, values, and preferences. By adopting this approach, the healthcare industry can achieve improved patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and more efficient resource allocation. Implementing and measuring person-centred care ensures its successful integration into healthcare systems, ultimately benefiting both individuals and the industry.

In conclusion, person-centred care is not merely a buzzword but a transformative approach that places the individual at the center of their care journey. By embracing person centred care principles, healthcare providers can create a more compassionate and effective healthcare system. This will enable them to truly meet the needs and expectations of those it serves.