Patients are at the core of what keeps the healthcare industry alive. This concept may seem like a given, but oftentimes, patients aren’t given the attention they deserve — especially considering how they are what keeps any practice in business. This is why patient-centered care (PCC) has become a popular concept among providers.
But what exactly is patient-centered care? At the heart of it, the term is exactly what it sounds like: care that focuses on the patient. More specifically, however, it is an approach that encourages patients to have more active involvement in their own care. The hope here is that this will improve health outcomes for them.
While the traditional model of care has providers prescribing the same treatment to anyone with similar diagnoses, patient-centered care promotes more collaboration between providers and patients (or caregivers and family when necessary). Its key concepts according to the Institute for Patient- and Family- Centered Care are the following:
- Respect and dignity: Practitioners listen to and honor a patient and family’s perspectives, beliefs, cultural background, and values.
- Information sharing: Practitioners communicate unbiased information to patients and families in useful ways in a timely fashion so they may participate effectively.
- Participation: Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in their care and decision-making at whatever level they choose.
- Collaboration: Patients, practitioners, and leaders collaborate in program and policy development, implementation, and evaluation — as well as education, facility design, research, and delivery of care.
Here are some of the ways in which patient-centered care makes a difference for both patients and providers alike!
Benefits for the Patient
When a practice adopts the PCC model, patient engagement inevitably increases. This is because it promotes interaction between the patient and provider, encouraging communication both in-person and remotely. This boosts patient satisfaction because they feel like they have a hand in their own healthcare decisions, as opposed to the traditional model’s “one size fits all” approach.
Moreover, health outcomes improve with this care model. Patient-centric communication empowered patients to find more common ground with their providers. In turn, patients tend to recover more quickly, adhere to care plans more closely, and have better emotional health because of this positive perception they’ve established with their provider.
Benefits for the Provider
Patient-centered care is not only beneficial to patients, but also carries numerous benefits for providers as well. For example, practices typically save money by providing this type of care. A study conducted by UC Davis found that this is because physicians and patients have more confidence that together, they’ve reached the correct diagnosis and strategy to move forward. As a result, this was shown to reduce or eliminate costly testing and specialty care visits.
Additionally, the reputation of providers tends to improve when they shift to a PCC model. When patients feel more involved in their own healthcare, it makes them feel valued and important. This leads to more positive online reviews for the provider — and in turn, will generate more business for them.
How to Implement a PCC Model
Providers of any size or specialty have the power to implement the PCC model. While it’s not especially challenging to make the transition from a traditional model, roadblocks like staffing shortages and documentation requirements sometimes get in the way.
Here are a few additional suggestions for practices hoping to implement a more patient-centered approach:
- Clearly communicate a strategy
- Provide a supportive work environment
- Encourage engagement with leadership
- Have an efficient way to collect social determinants of health (SDOH)
- Include patient involvement when launching any initiative
- Invest in healthcare tech that supports patient-centered efforts
How DocResponse Promotes Patient-Centered Care
DocResponse’s patient engagement platform inherently supports a patient-centric approach. Research shows that using healthcare technology in conjunction with the PCC model consistently improves outcomes. The reason for this is that technology streamlines processes, improves lines of communication, and helps eliminate obstacles for the patient. DocResponse’s software achieves these actions in the following ways:
- Digital patient intake empowers patients to take a more proactive role in their care even before the time of their visit.
- HIPAA-compliant telemedicine allows providers to connect to patients anywhere, which is more comfortable for patients and promotes more personalized care.
- Online scheduling further supports patient interaction by giving people the freedom and flexibility to schedule appointments on their own time.
Learn more about how DocResponse’s all-in-one solution promotes patient involvement every step of the way, making them feel like an important part of their healthcare process. Schedule a demo today!