The concept of person-centered care is not uncommon in the healthcare industry. Though, while the concept is widely acknowledged, according to researchers the concept frequently lacks detail and clarification.
Exploring more about person-centered care is important for both clinicians and organizations alike, as it assists in applying evidence based principles to practice, in achieving quality assurance, and in meeting the objectives of CMS values-based outcomes more effectively.
What is Person-Centeredness?
Person-centered care is a philosophy that underpins service delivery in healthcare settings.
Keeping in mind that each patient is an individual person, person-centered care focuses on meeting the person’s, values and preferences; optimizing their care experiences; and actively involving the person in their own care.
Person-centered care does not mean you comply with all of your patients requests and give them everything they want.
But that the underlying acts and emotions you portray are delivered with dignity, respect and compassion. It also requires consideration and involvement of key family members in discussions and decision making.
This person-centeredness becomes your way of thinking and doing things as a clinician.
While it’s important that organizations have these core principles embedded in their systems and policies. As a clinician, keeping these principles in mind as you go about your professional activities is critically important.
In fact, studies have shown that clinicians who do keep person-centeredness at their core of clinical reasoning achieve top patient outcomes. While in comparison, clinicians who do not, only achieve average outcomes for patients.
The Unique Challenges of Person-Centered Care for Rehabilitation
Unlike some patients who can be sent on their merry way with prescription medication, rehabilitation often requires an even deeper level of person-centeredness.
With physical impairments, whether they be cognitive, communication, emotional, neurobehavioral or physical, rehabilitation often requires active participation by the physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist, along with active participation from the patient as well.
In many cases care is given by multiple clinicians all striving to achieve outcomes for the patient, and this requires a higher level of communication and commitment.
This is often made even more difficult because care occurs in various settings – inpatient, outpatient, in the home or even in community settings.
Then there are organizational challenges such as systems, procedures, meeting CMS values-based care requirements, funding, and so forth.
Thankfully researchers from Portugal, New Zealand and Canada are about to partake in a review to establish a clear framework to help clinicians and facilities deliver a higher level of care for adults with physical impairments undergoing rehabilitation.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the outcome and look forward to providing a more substantial framework to follow.
In the meantime, please explore the following resources and learn more about person-centered care.
Further Reading and Resources
- Patient-centered care and patient-reported measures: let’s look before we leap
- Interventions for providers to promote a patient-centered approach in clinical consultations
- Introduction to conceptual explorations on person-centered medicine
- A conceptual review of engagement in healthcare and rehabilitation
- Perception of client-centered practice in occupational therapists and their clients
- Client-centered practice in occupational therapy: critical reflections
- Using clinical outcomes to explore the theory of expert practice in physical therapy