Shifting to Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care (PCC) is defined as caring for patients in a valuable way. Physicians are called to involve and inform their patients instead of relying on physician-dependent tools or resources. The Institute of Medicine defines PCC as: “Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”

This care model significantly improves the quality and effectiveness of care and reduces costs simultaneously – heavily influencing the shift to this care model. Patient satisfaction increases, and their clinical outcomes are improving. Meanwhile, diagnostic testing, hospitalizations, and prescription medication have decreased. 

Benefits of Patient-Centered Care

First and foremost, patient-centered care aims to improve patient health outcomes. Satisfied patients have overall improvements in their health. Providers and healthcare systems also benefit from this.

  • Increased patient satisfaction scores
  • Improved online reputation for providers
  • Stronger patient-physician relationships
  • Re-allocation of resources and funds
  • Increased financial margins and reduced expenses

Benefits for Physicians and Providers

Studies have shown increased hospitalizations, referrals, and prescriptions from doctors who lack the most basic communication with their patients. 

Doctors who build relationships with patients and their families do not require expensive medical interventions or procedures. This reduces their in-office expenses, allowing those funds to be allocated elsewhere within their practice. Patients and doctors who work together when forming a tailored care plan see better results and positive outcomes.

Providing Patient-Centered Care

Providing a patient-centered care model starts with your healthcare marketing efforts. When they find your practice in an online search, they should feel like they are a priority. Having clear information about your providers, their services, treatment options, insurance information, and educational assets gives patients a sense of comfort and trust when choosing the person spearheading their treatment plan.

Here are a few ways you can be sure to provide patient-centered care:

  • User-Friendly Website. Your website is your online foundation. It needs to be clear, concise, and offer a variety of information about your practice. Be sure to have contact forms, call buttons, and phone numbers and addresses easily accessible.
  • Information Transparency. The more open and honest you are with your patients, the more likely they are to remain patients. Transparency can include: 
    • Cost of services
    • Insurance information
    • Practice information
    • Values and standards
    • Compliance
    • Policies and Standards
  • Consistent and Open Lines of Communication. A platform where patients can openly communicate with their healthcare providers goes a long way in their care. Their treatments will be the most effective when they feel they’re heard. This includes sending automated text message campaigns for appointment reminders and visit follow-ups. 

A Cultural Shift 

A patient-centered approach includes each patient’s family in care and health plans. Traditionally, families follow orders from doctors when caring for a family member. With a patient-centered approach, families become part of the comprehensive care team. Family members are educated on best care practices for their loved ones and can assist providers in learning more about the patient and his or her needs.

Providers and healthcare clinics that implement and offer satisfaction surveys to patients and family members continuously improve how they are managed and how their physicians can best interact with their patients. 

A strong relationship between patients and their physicians is necessary for patient-centered care models. This includes open lines of communication and empathy. This leads to more compliant patients who are satisfied and have successful outcomes. This model of care is a win-win for patients and physicians. 

If your practice is unsure how to begin creating a patient-centered care model, the team at Valet Health can help. Our solutions are designed with the practice and patients in mind, offering educational blog posts, website design, accurate online information, and more.