As health care providers’ roles evolve, so does the way in which they deliver care. Care delivery is moving away from a “disease-centered model” and toward a “patient-centered model.” In the disease-centered model, physicians make most treatment decisions based largely on clinical experience and data from various medical tests.
In the contemporary patient-centered model, patients are more active participants in their own care and receive services designed to focus on their individual needs and preferences. In addition, patients receive advice and counsel from health professionals who are more mindful, informed and empathetic to the patient’s needs. The patient-centered model is designed to improve the quality of personal, professional and organizational relationships.
Planetree, a national not-for-profit dedicated to improving patient-centered care, developed the Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide, which outlines specific practices needed in order for patient-centered care to work. Their practical approaches for building a patient-centered culture include: