Last Updated | September 13, 2021
Patient-centered care is all about integrating a patient’s preferences and values into all clinical decision-making and goal setting and treating their decisions and choices with dignity and respect. When a patient receives patient-centered care, they are involved in all facets of decisions about their health. They are provided with all the observations and data needed to make informed decisions, and are encouraged to ask questions to the healthcare providers regarding their conditions, progress and prognosis, and possible treatments, and do their due diligence before reaching a decision. Under this healthcare model, not only the patients but their families and caretakers also get a say in care plan decisions. Successful patient-centric care can be summed up as treating a patient as a unique individual who can customize their own healthcare plan with various treatment and diagnostic options, without discriminating based on their background, beliefs or preferences. The goal of the healthcare providers is to help patients get better and tailor their healthcare plan according to what the patient needs and wants.
The main goal of patient-centered care is to improve individual health outcomes, lower ER visit rates, encourage faster recovery, improve resource allocation, and incorporate each patient’s preferences, values, cultural traditions, and socioeconomic conditions into all decision-making outcomes. Involving patients in their own treatment plans improves patient satisfaction with the healthcare system and the caregivers and helps them feel like they are being well taken care of. Patient-centered care also boosts morale and job satisfaction for care providers who are actually passionate about helping people and implementing quality improvement measures that make a difference.
Improved patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction is directly co-related to how well a healthcare service aligns with their expectation of care. Patient-centered care boosts patient satisfaction since patients feel involved in their healthcare journey and feel a level of autonomy in their healthcare outcomes. When patients feel like their personal health goals and preferences are being respected, they are more invested in their healthcare journey and show better adherence to shared decisions.
Improved Health Outcomes
When patients feel like they have a say in their healthcare plans, they engage more in treatments and are more likely to follow through with treatment plans. This eliminates repeated checks and wasted medication. Patient-centric care results in faster recovery, less missed appointments, lower re-admissions and ER visits, enhanced patient satisfaction, and faster recovery. Care focuses on physical comfort as well as emotional well-being, which results in happier, more cooperative patients. Furthermore, Encouraging patients to take part in their health-related decisions, gives them the confidence and ability to look after themselves with less input from you.
It Saves Time and Money
Personalized patient-centric care ensures patients receive the medication they will actually take and are prescribed care treatments they will actually follow through on, as well as attend and engage in the right services needed for recovery.
Thanks to online reviews and social media, people choose their healthcare providers based on the experiences of others. Seeing how 70% of patients will share a positive experience with others, satisfied patients will inadvertently turn into your ambassadors and recommend you to others. Shared decision-making helps the patient feel like they are being taken care of properly. If your healthcare organization is perceived as a safe clinical environment, they are bound to choose you.
High Job Satisfaction for Employees
Patient-centered care improves job satisfaction for care providers. Healthcare professionals who are passionate about helping people and making a difference, feel happier working at organizations that focus on patient-specific needs.
Making patients partners in their own care involves giving them hassle-free access to their health data, equipping them with the data necessary to make their own decisions and clinical outcomes, and allowing them to choose their own insurance options. A patient-centered medical environment is possible with the integration of technology and digital tools that explore the creative intersection of medicine and emerging technology. The ultimate goal of digital health is to advocate patient wellness and improve clinical outcomes. Rather than having to deal with a medical condition or a disease when it has already caused irrevocable damage, patient-centric care focuses on preemptive screening, early awareness and diagnosis, and proactive intervention enabled by technologies.
Offering convenient and effective treatment options using digital tools is a major goal of the patient-centered healthcare space. Providers need to start looking for affordable, strategies to deliver the highest-quality patient care while making care accessible to everyone and satisfactory. To meet these goals, healthcare organizations need to replace in-person care with digital care wherever feasible.
Now that we have discussed the primary goal of designing and implementing patient-centred care, it’s essential to add that implementing a top-notch medical device user experience will help achieve the goals. This is because proper user experience within medical devices will help doctors promise promising clinical outcomes and improve patient care.
Patient-centered care involves constant collaboration, communication and joint decision-making with patients, so as to ascertain that all treatment options are aligned with the needs and wants of patients, instead of simply administering standardized treatment therapies. Digital tools help deliver patient-centric care since they facilitate unhindered communication between patients and healthcare providers. Patients having access to their digital health records are much more involved in their care plans and report better recovery from their condition, and fewer diagnostic tests and referrals. Enhanced communication with patients offers healthcare providers the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Through patient portals and Telehealth services, healthcare providers can monitor and track comprehensive health indicators, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar level, weight, symptom management, etc., which helps doctors flag alarming issues early on. Transparent and seamless communication between the healthcare providers and patients fosters consistency, builds trust and improves the reputation of your organization.
Secondly, integrating Electronic Medical Records with the clinical processes allow physicians, healthcare providers and patients to view a complete picture of a patient’s medical history. Patients and caregivers get access to every key piece of data needed for “meaningful use” and improved care through customized care plans and tailored therapeutics. When patients feel a meaningful degree of autonomy and investment in their own care and health outcomes, the more committed they are to their therapies. Motivated patients can even rectify misinformation within their medical records, and prevent costly errors down the lane. Patient portals allow better chronic disease self-management since patients can keep tabs on their own health indicators and avail continuity of service without having to visit a physician’s office again and again. EHRs also improve collaboration between medical practitioners in a patient’s chain of care to ensure improved care.
Similarly, mHealth apps help physicians deliver patient-centric care by reducing in-person care after surgery and offer patients a convenient and efficient option for post-operative follow-up care. Through mobile apps, patients can voice their healthcare concerns outside of the office and get speedy intervention. This tool is especially beneficial for mitigating post-operative concerns since patients can share images of their wounds or abrasions with healthcare physicians to root out exacerbations. Some mHealth apps also send reminders and prompt to help patients stay on track with medications, while others offer medical reference material and resources to help patients research their symptoms and diagnoses to better understand their medical conditions, and help them stay involved in their healthcare plans. There are also medical health apps that help patients locate nearby doctors and pharmacies or allow patients to record their symptoms and health indicators, such as daily blood sugar levels and blood pressure, to be shared with physicians.
Telemedicine has made it possible for patients to receive home care and support with the help of digital communication tools. Telemedicine is making healthcare readily available for even people living in the remotest corners. Health care professionals can now evaluate, diagnose and treat remotely. The approach has been through a striking evolution in the last decade. Telemedicine not only relieves the pressure on already worn-out employees but also makes care more convenient.
Let’s say a patient, having already visited two other hospitals, comes to a well-known physician for a third opinion. Instead of having to recount their repertoire of medical conditions, previous treatment plans, and complete history, the clinician can simply pull out all that data from the EHR in advance. Not only that, the new physician also notes down his observations and treatment plans in the patient’s medical record, so that they could be shared with anyone on their care team going forward.
Another patient is able to access therapy for a phobia from a well-known physiatrist from the comforts of their homes, via digital communication tools. In addition, the physiatrist tracks basic metrics such as breathing patterns, heart rates, stress and anxiety levels, and other such indicators with the help of data from wearables. This data serves as biomarkers for the onset of a disease or a symptom of one. The physiatrist also uses VR technology to build immersive environments to help with meditation and stress, and empower the patient to conquer their phobias. The therapist exposes the patient to controllable and measurable anxiety-inducing situations in a virtual environment to aid in cognitive behavioral therapy.
First and foremost, giving patients unhindered access to their medical health records, in their language of choice, keeping accessibility and interoperability in mind, should be at the heart of offering patient-centric services. It is a patient’s basic healthcare right to gain access to their own health information to facilitate shared decision-making. In addition to giving patients access, they should be allowed to add in their own comments and observations and rectify any mistakes in their health records.
Patients of today desire comprehensive patient experiences that go beyond patient satisfaction with quality care outcomes. This is causing healthcare organizations to invest in technology like telemedicine services, online patient portals, integrated healthcare systems, and virtual assistants. Patients want seamless interactions with healthcare organizations, from booking and paying for a medical appointment to getting post-operative care at home.
Digital health enables patients to connect to their physicians remotely by using a digital channel. Healthcare should be expanded to allow room for digital tools, such as wearable technology, Electronic health records, remote symptom monitoring, patient portals, mHealth apps, and remote assistance models such as telemedicine, and virtual visits. Investing in these technologies is the only way to expand options for patients interested in actively engaging in their own health. Digital health technologies make it more convenient to make appointments, order prescription refills, access their healthcare picture, and even pay bills at a click. Incorporating digital therapeutics into practice would allow healthcare organizations to improve effectiveness and efficiency, enhance patient satisfaction, and make healthcare more accessible.
HL7 is the set of standards that provides guidance for sharing and transferring data between different healthcare providers and systems. The implementation of these standards can support the evaluation, management, and delivery of healthcare services. In addition, it can improve interoperability between various systems. Also, it ensures that medical documentation is consistent across different healthcare systems.
Patient-centered care is also known as person-centered care, patient-led care, and personalized care.
The main goal of patient-centered care is to improve individual health outcomes, lower ER visit rates, encourage faster recovery, improve resource allocation, and incorporate each patient’s preferences, values, cultural traditions, and socioeconomic conditions into all decision-making outcomes.
Nurses can play a role in patient-centric care by helping hospitalized patients learn more about their conditions or involve family members when a patient is not able to care for themselves, as well as when they are being discharged or moved to another facility. Nurses can also learn the names and conditions of each patient so they feel recognized and valued.
At the end of the day, patient-centric care is all about improving healthcare outcomes. Patients who feel like they have a say in their healthcare decisions are more likely to follow through with treatment plans, reducing the need for re-admissions, missed medication, and failure to cooperate.
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