Patient-centered care is currently considered an essential component of professional nursing practice. Some of its core premises were successfully adopted by other healthcare models, such as family-focused care. The focus on the needs of the patients allows for the superior quality of care delivery and improved patient outcomes. The following paper provides an analysis of the patient-centered care success factors based on the identified major practices and derived aspects of superior patient care.
Defining Patient-Centered Care
Patient-centered care can be delivered through a variety of practices. Due to the diversification of the concept, it is not realistic to expect the existence of a well-defined list. Nevertheless, certain practices are dominant in the literature. For instance, clear, empathic communication aimed at addressing the patients’ needs coupled with listening skills is often mentioned as one of the most important practices (Constand, MacDermid, Dal Bello-Haas, & Law, 2014). Next, the shared decision-making is both necessary for the satisfaction of patients’ preferences and the facilitation of self-management. Time management in its various iterations is considered a major practice in delivering patient-centered care since it ensures access to healthcare and minimizes unnecessary waste of resources. Finally, the involvement of family and friends is a significant contributor to patient-centered care (Constand et al., 2014).
The described practices allow us to identify the core aspects which enable superior patient-centered care. The first aspect is personalization, which ensures the adjustment of care delivery to the individual needs and expectations of the patient. The second aspect is the coordination, which applies both to community resource management and the flow of information on horizontal and vertical organizational levels (Rathert, Wyrwich, & Boren, 2013). The third aspect is compassion, which can be delivered through various practices and is expected to establish trust and cooperation with the patient.
It becomes evident that several points of intersection exist between patient-centered and family-focused care. Most notably, patient involvement is a necessary component in both types of care. In fact, family involvement is almost unanimously recognized as an important aspect of patient-centered care. Also, communication is necessary for successful care delivery in both cases.
The identified similarities can be considered predictors of patient health outcomes. For instance, communication is known to improve patient involvement and, by extension, result in better outcomes. Coordination, on the other hand, is expected to decrease the likelihood of errors. Finally, family and friends’ involvement improves decision-making and leads to better self-management, resulting in long-term improvements.
Importance of Patient-Centered Care
Certain dimensions of patient-centered care also contribute to the level of professionalism of workers. Most notably, coordination of management is beneficial for healthcare organizations due to functional and operational advantages. Besides, it promotes innovation and commitment among the personnel, resulting in the consistency of service delivery quality. It is also worth noting that aside from the numerous benefits for patients, the nurses also benefit from it due to improvements in the emotional environment and a better understanding of the patients.
Notably, patient-centered care is not exclusive to family nurses and applies to almost all nursing categories, including clinical, surgical, emergency, psychological, and community nurses. The main reason for its wide applicability in the presence of the patients as stakeholders. Since the ultimate goal of any nurse is ensuring the best outcome for the patients, it is reasonable to expect the excellent level of patient support and a high degree of satisfaction as a result of coordination, personalization, and compassion.
Since the shift towards the patient-centered approach in healthcare, it has proven to be both effective in improving the quality of care and benefits for the patient’s perception of the care delivery process. Some aspects and practices pertinent to the concept were eventually adopted in other care delivery frameworks. Therefore, patient-centered care can be considered both a set of efficient practices and a viable fundamental approach to healthcare applicable to different nursing practices.
Constand, M. K., MacDermid, J. C., Dal Bello-Haas, V., & Law, M. (2014). Scoping review of patient-centered care approaches in healthcare. BMC Health Services Research, 14(1), 271-280.
Rathert, C., Wyrwich, M. D., & Boren, S. A. (2013). Patient-centered care and outcomes: A systematic review of the literature. Medical Care Research and Review, 70(4), 351-379.