Healthcare Tech

Definition of Patient-Centered Care

Definition of Patient-Centered Care
Simon Bolz


Definition: Patient-Centered Care

Definition Patient-centered care (patient centred care): “Is a model in which providers partner with families to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences.”

To expand this definition, patient-centered care is dependent on the involvement of the staff and care team as well.

“To succeed, a patient-centered approach must also address the staff experience as staff’s ability and inclination to effectively care for patients is unquestionably compromised if they do not feel care for themselves" (Picker Institute).

Patients become the central focus of the entire care team: doctors, nurses, medical and physical assistants, and clerical staff. Together, the team provides coordinated and integrated care that provides the best outcomes for the patient.

Factors of Patient-Centered Care

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, on behalf of Picker Institute and The Commonwealth Fund, defined seven primary dimensions of patient-centered care model.

These factors are identified as:

  • Respect for patients’ values, preferences and expressed needs
  • Coordination and integration of care
  • Information, communication and education
  • Physical comfort
  • Emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety
  • Involvement of family and friends
  • Transition and continuity

According to the Research, the following concerns or areas of focus within each category are as follows.

Respect for Values

  • Illness and medical treatment may have an impact on quality of life. Care should be provided in an atmosphere that is respectful of the individual patient and focused on quality-of-life issues.
  • Informed and shared decision-making is a central component of patient-centered care.
  • Provide the patient with dignity, respect and sensitivity to his/her cultural values.

Care Coordination

  • Coordination and integration of clinical care
  • Coordination and integration of ancillary and support services
  • Coordination and integration of front-line patient care

Information, Communication, Education

  • Provide Information on clinical status, progress and prognosis
  • Information on processes of care
  • Information and education to facilitate autonomy, self-care and health promotion

Physical Comfort

  • Assistance with activities and daily living needs
  • Hospital surroundings and environment kept in focus, including ensuring that the patient’s needs for privacy are accommodated and that patient areas are kept clean and comfortable, with appropriate accessibility for visits by family and friends.

Emotional Support, Alleviation of Fear and Anxiety

  • Consider support related to anxiety over clinical status, treatment and prognosis
  • Anxiety over the impact of the illness on themselves and family
  • Anxiety over the financial impact of illness

Involvement of Family and Friends

  • Accommodation, by clinicians and caregivers, of family and friends on whom the patient relies for social and emotional support
  • Respect for and recognition of the patient “advocate’s” role in decision-making
  • Support for family members as caregivers
  • Recognition of the needs of family and friends

Transition and Continuity

  • Provide understandable, detailed information regarding medications, physical limitations, dietary needs, etc.
  • Coordinate and plan ongoing treatment and services after discharge and ensure that patients and family understand this information
  • Provide information regarding access to clinical, social, physical and financial support on a continuing basis
  • Access to the location of hospitals, clinics and physician offices
  • Availability of transportation
  • Ease of scheduling appointments
  • Availability of appointments when needed
  • Accessibility to specialists or specialty services when a referral is made
  • Clear instructions provided on when and how to get referrals

Technology Enablement of Patient-Centered Care

Coordinated and Integrated Care with Klara

The care team should provide accessible, coordinated, comprehensive, and continuous quality health care. The patient should feel their care is seamless, efficient, and tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. This is achieved though communication within the team, division of labor, effective problem solving, organization, and emphasis on timely service.

Office staff should proactively prepare for patient appointments by reviewing their records and making sure that all required documents for the practice are available before the patient arrives. Clinicians should make sure all orders have been placed, all testing has been scheduled, and all results have been reviewed after the patient visit.

When referring a patient to a specialist, care providers should make sure specialists have the appropriate amount of clerical and clinical information about the patient prior to the appointment, and that physicians receive the specialist’s recommendations by way of consults and/or test results.

Klara Enables Patient-Centered Care

Klara works by connecting patients and healthcare teams together on a single, HIPAA-compliant platform accessible via mobile app or website. It's as simple as sending a text message. Teams can coordinate care more easily, patients can be involved in care and communication moves in a streamlined manner across the care team.

Klara is offering free scoping calls to interested medical teams and healthcare organizations. Sign up for a time today to learn more.

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