There is a trending topic that is currently the subject of much debate in healthcare circles around America: that of patient-centered care. Patient-centered care has been identified as one of the six key elements of high-quality care by the Institute of Medicine making it a topical conversation in healthcare circles. Increasingly, healthcare consulting companies such as CSuite Solutions are being asked to partner with healthcare systems to integrate this approach.
What is patient-centered care?
Patient-centered care, focuses on the specific health care needs and desired health outcomes of an individual and thus forms the driving force behind every health care decision that is made. Patients are seen to be partnering with their health care provider, and providers are committed to treating patients holistically: offering clinical care, as well as emotional, spiritual, mental, financial and social support.
What are the benefits for healthcare organizations?
There are a number of benefits to healthcare organizations that are willing to make the transition to a patient-centric approach including lowered costs, the opportunity to grow market share as well as improving patient outcomes.
Lowering costs cited as one big benefit of a patient-centric approach
A study by UC Davis found that patient-centered care leads to lower healthcare costs. The collaborative approach between patient and physician results in improved confidence in the diagnosis which reduces, and in some cases eliminates, costly tests and specialist referrals.
Healthcare Providers can gain market share
As patients in the US are becoming better informed of patient-centered care, this offers the opportunity for a competitive advantage for healthcare systems. Patients are choosing to seek out hospitals and providers that actively promote this approach with a study showing that 40% of respondents would switch to a hospital that was more patient-centered.
Improved Patient Outcomes
A patient-centered approach has repeatedly been proven to be the most effective at improving patient health outcomes. By engaging patients and their families, there is a positive impact on emotional health, symptom resolution, and pain control. Additionally, through engagement and education in partnership with the patient and their family, this approach can help reduce the rate of preventable readmissions.
What changes do health systems need to make?
The way that care is delivered has to shift fundamentally which requires a re-working of several key areas. First, the organization’s mission, vision, values, and leadership need to change to align with patient-centered goals. Secondly, the way that care is provided needs to focus on physical comfort, as well as emotional well-being and the approach to care, needs to be collaborative and accessible. And thirdly, patient and family preferences and participation need to be respected and encouraged.
What is the next step for healthcare organizations?
There are a number of challenges to overcome in moving towards a patient-centric approach. CSuite Solutions in Tampa, Florida, is a national strategic advisory that offers healthcare management services and healthcare consulting. Founded by former health system CEOs and C-Level executives with a wide range of health-specific expertise, they are expertly positioned to help healthcare organizations transition to a patient-centric approach.