Patient-centered care is healthcare that places the unique needs of the patient and their subjective ideas of quality and success at the forefront of treatment decisions. It encourages collaboration between healthcare providers, patients and their families to ensure that care plans respect their values, culture and preferences.
Understanding the fundamental ideas of patient-centered care can help you be a more effective nurse and drive better outcomes for patients. In this article, we outline how to ensure care is patient centered and explore why it’s so important for nurses to do so.
Benefits of patient-centered care
Making medical treatments patient centered has many benefits, as it’s important to understand and account for the unique needs and characteristics of each patient to deliver effective care. Modern nurses, such as those who’ve completed an online accelerated BSN program receive training on how to make care patient-centered. Here are some of the main reasons healthcare is moving in this direction:
- Improved results
Patient-centered care can be beneficial in many ways, and one of the most significant is improved health outcomes. When patients play an active role in their healthcare, they are more likely to stick to treatment plans, leading to better outcomes. Plus, when healthcare providers listen to and empathize with patients, it can result in greater patient satisfaction, which also contributes to better health outcomes.
- Reduced costs
Patient-centered care is also advantageous in that it reduces healthcare costs for both patients and providers. When patients are more involved in their healthcare, they are likely to take proactive steps to prevent or manage chronic conditions, which can reduce the need for expensive interventions in the future. Also, patient-centered care can help eliminate unnecessary tests and treatments, resulting in cost savings for both patients and the healthcare system.
- Better communication
Another significant advantage of patient-centered care is its potential to enhance communication between patients and healthcare providers. By encouraging patients to voice their concerns, provide feedback and ask questions, healthcare providers can gain a better understanding of their needs and create more personalized care plans. This improved communication can lead to better decision-making and ultimately result in more effective care.
- Increased patient satisfaction
Patients who receive patient-centered care generally exhibit higher levels of satisfaction with their treatment. This can be attributed to their increased participation in the decision-making process and greater control over their healthcare. When patients feel satisfied with their care, they are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans and follow through with recommended follow-up care.
- Improved safety
Patient-centered care has the potential to enhance patient safety. When patients play an active role in their healthcare, they are more likely to raise concerns about safety issues. Furthermore, patient-centered care enables healthcare providers to identify potential safety hazards before they escalate into significant problems.
- Empowered patients
Patient-centered care can empower patients to play a more active role in their healthcare. Patients are encouraged to ask questions, share feedback, and make informed decisions about their treatment. This can lead to an increased sense of confidence and a greater feeling of control over their overall health.
- More personalized care
Patient-centered care provides healthcare providers with an opportunity to deliver more personalized care. Each patient has their individual needs and preferences, and patient-centered care ensures that these are taken into consideration while creating a care plan. This approach can result in more effective treatments and better outcomes for patients.
How to make care more patient-centered
While many healthcare organizations are trending towards patient-centered care, there are still many things that can be done to speed up the process. Here are some ways nurses and healthcare providers can do more:
- Listen to patients
Listening to patients is paramount, as one of the central ideas in patient-centered care is to involve patients in their own treatment. This means actively listening to them to understand their needs, concerns and preferences and gather general feedback. Listening allows nurses to adjust treatment plans according to patient preferences, which places patients at the center of care decisions and gives them autonomy.
- Involve patients in care planning
Another great way to make care more patient-centric is to involve patients in the care-planning process. Nurses can work directly with patients, encouraging them to ask questions and gathering feedback in order to learn about their unique needs, preferences and circumstances. This helps nurses tailor treatment plans and promote healthier living for each patient.
- Address emotional needs
Nurses can powerfully enhance patient experiences by addressing their emotional needs in addition to physical needs. Patients often feel fearful, anxious, or overwhelmed, and nurses can provide important emotional support to reassure and relax them.
- Communicate clearly
Nurses can establish clear communication between themselves and their patients by speaking clearly and directly, avoiding unnecessary medical jargon. This allows patients to clearly understand their position and the options presented to them. Nurses should ask patients if they understand what they’re being told and encourage them to ask clarifying questions.
- Respect culture and values
It’s essential for nurses to respect the cultural and religious beliefs of patients, as these often affect healthcare decisions. Nurses must spend time getting to know each patient and learn about their individual beliefs and values so that they can factor them into care plans.
- Be an advocate
Advocating for patients’ best interests is key to delivering patient-centered care, which means representing patients and pushing for their best interests. This involves ensuring patients get the treatment and resources they need, as well as advocating for their rights.