The Benefits of Receiving Patient-Centered Care
(From NEJM Catalyst)
In patient-centered care, an individual’s specific health needs and desired health outcomes are the driving force behind all health care decisions and quality measurements. Patients are partners with their health care providers, and providers treat patients not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial perspective.
Elements of Patient-Centered Care
Patient- and family-centered care encourages the active collaboration and shared decision-making between patients, families, and providers to design and manage a customized and comprehensive care plan.
Most definitions of patient-centered care have several common elements that affect the way health systems and facilities are designed and managed, and the way care is delivered:
The health care system’s mission, vision, values, leadership, and quality-improvement drivers are aligned to patient-centered goals.Care is collaborative, coordinated, and accessible. The right care is provided at the right time and the right place.Care focuses on physical comfort as well as emotional well-being.Patient and family preferences, values, cultural traditions, and socioeconomic conditions are respected.Patients and their families are an expected part of the care team and play a role in decisions at the patient and system level.The presence of family members in the care setting is encouraged and facilitated.Information is shared fully and in a timely manner so that patients and their family members can make informed decisions.
Benefits of Patient-Centered Care
The primary goal and benefit of patient-centered care is to improve individualhealth outcomes, not just population health outcomes, although population outcomes may also improve. Not only do patients benefit, but providers and health care systems benefit as well, through:
Improved satisfaction scores among patients and their families.Enhanced reputation of providers among health care consumers.Better morale and productivity among clinicians and ancillary staff.Improved resource allocation.Reduced expenses and increased financial margins throughout the continuum of care.