In the healthcare industry, traditional care is very one-dimensional. The “patients” or “clients” are accessing a health system in which health/home care providers aide in their access to that system. The service is looked at as something done to the client. Traditional care neglects the human aspect of caregiving. These “clients’ are people; they have lives, motives, likes, dislikes and networks that they constantly engage and interact with. Traditional care neglects all of the social context that humans naturally engage with.

However, there is so much more to providing care than the administration of a given tasks. Care should be moving towards a more holistic method of care. One that is focused on integrating the health service aspect with the social context together to create a holistic treatment that puts the patient first. Person-Centered Care does exactly this. It puts the focus on the needs of the person rather than fulfilling the needs of the service.

What Is Person-Centered Care

Person-Centered Care is the practice of caring for the person and their families, in a way that is personalized and wholistic. In other words, it is to treat them as a fellow human being and the value of Person-centered care is that the individual and their families are happier. Person-Centered Care means to provide care that is respectful of, and considerate to the person’s needs and values, where the person guides the caregiver’s clinical decisions-not the other way around. In Person-Centered Care, the patient is equal partners with the caregiver and is instrumental in planning, developing and monitoring their care. Working withthe patient and their families to establish the best clinical service for that person.

Key Principles Of Person-Centered Care

This is not meant to be confused as giving the person whatever they want, but about considering the human aspect and designing a service that will help best support the person, holistically encompassing these. There are many key aspects to Person-Centered Care as it is highly personalized, but a study done by the Picker Institute and the Harvard Medical School reveal 8 key principles to Person-centered care:

  • Considering people’s preferences, values and expressed needs.
  • Coordinating and integrating care.
  • Working together to make sure there is good communication, information and education.
  • Making sure people are physically comfortable and safe.
  • Emotional support.
  • Involving family and friends.
  • Making sure there is continuity between and within services.
  • Making sure people have access to appropriate care when they need it.

Paradigm Shift

Currently in the world of healthcare servicing, we are seeing a paradigm shift in caregiving. This type of holistic care that puts the person first whether it’s called “patient-centered”, “resident-centered”, or “family-centered”, is becoming the most fulfilling care for your patients. More and more researchers and caregivers are seeing the tangible benefits of a person-first healthcare methodology, these include:

  • Getting people, the care they need, when they need it.
  • Empowers patients to be more active in their own care.
  • Reducing the pressure on the health and social service provider, and the patients’ families.
  • Improvements in patient physical and mental status.
  • Increased quality of life

Overall the benefits of Person-Centered care continuous to be studied, but it is clear that when done right, is the best way to improve the quality of life of those affected. With the aging population, limited resources and an emphasis on family and mental health, Person-Centered care is needed now more than ever to deal with the challenges of that future generations will face.

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