Friday, April 14, 2006

Not Enough Patient-Centered Care

The Commonwealth Fund recently reported on a study that only 22% of physicians practice “Patient-Centered” care. Also called "Consumer-Centered" care, it is an approach to that includes a list of practices designed to improve care quality and patient experiences.

Why is this? The authors conclude a lack of training and knowledge about how to adopt patient centered care into their practices, as well as a concern about costs.
"With the right knowledge, tools, and practice environment, and in partnership with their patients, physicians should be well positioned to provide the services and care that their patients want and have the right to expect."

Another way of saying this is that we need a "high-fidelity" healthcare system. Fidelity exists only when healthcare systems enable:

  • Patients to make their care needs known to providers through adequate access and communication
  • Clinicians to have the time, knowledge, skill, and attention necessary to recognize a patient needs and intervention
  • Interventions to be delivered properly, safely, and in a coordinated manner.

A high-fidelity healthcare system:

  • Makes it possible for coordinated teams of clinicians to render care across the entire healthcare continuum
  • Assures that providers have adequate resources, and competent information and decision support tools
  • Is fully committed to consumer-centered care.
Shouldn't we be focused on changing policies and practices that block high-fidelity and prevent patient-centered care from being the standard?

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