Patient-centered care is a departure from the standard approach in Western Medicine, which declares that the “doctor knows best”.
OK. Doctors are trained intensively to provide medical care. That does not imply that their knowledge lives in isolation from the patient’s needs, desires and goals.
The word “patient” itself points to a passive role, benignly receiving the ministrations of a professional caregiver. But patient-centered care opens the word up to become more indicative of partnership with healthcare professionals.
In this post, we’ll look at patient-centered care: putting the patient first and explore some of the principles behind this style of delivering healthcare.
The whole patient
Healthcare providers who deliver patient-centered care understand that they’re not just treating the body. They’re treating every aspect of the patient. Human beings are more than our bodies. We’re emotional and spiritual beings. We have social networks which factor into our overall sense of wellness and we have financial concerns which must be considered in the pursuit of medical care delivery.
Patient-centered care implicates the social support system of the patient, bringing family and friends into a conversation about the trajectory of treatment. Working together improves outcomes, because personalized care is more readily achievable in partnership with all stakeholders.
This style of care targets not just physical wellbeing, but the emotional landscape of the patient, as this is a key component of wellness. So, instead of creating a cordon sanitaire around patients in institutionalized settings like hospitals, families and friends are brought into the fold to actively participate in the decision-making process.
Even better, it’s the patient who decides when they’re ready for visits and for how long. This is not determined by the institution in a patient-centered facility.
With the patient at the center of healthcare, providers can offer another dimension of care delivery, focused on collaborative action that advances total wellbeing.
Everyone involved in the patient-centered model benefits. The improved individual outcomes arising enhance care delivery, trickling up to population-based outcomes and prompting providers not yet on this extremely successful bandwagon to climb aboard.
With patients and their social circles included in therapeutic plans, healthcare providers who follow the patient-centered model improve public perception about the services delivered. They also enjoy increased satisfaction in their working lives, throughout the complex of people involved in providing care. It’s not just doctors who are positively impacted – it’s nurses, orderlies and technicians.
And the patient benefits most of all, due to the personalized approach to their treatment. No longer the passive object of medical treatment, the patient is the focus of decisions made in the pursuit of healing, which is empowering.
Nothing drives recovery like patient empowerment.
Back & Body Medical
We practice patient-centered care at Back & Body Medical, as part of our award-winning multi-disciplinarian care model. When you’re a patient here, you’re a partner. You’re not a passive consumer of our services, but at the epicenter of everything we do toward healing.
Patient-centered care is the way we do things here. Contact us to find out more about Back & Body.