Patient-Centered Care 101

When you run any type of medical office, you face a lot of responsibilities and needs. The team at Medical Waste Disposal is dedicated to providing reliable, effective medical waste management so that you can focus on providing the care your clients need. We’re talking about patient-centered care.

Patient-centered care can feel like a conglomeration of abstract, airy ideas about how to make our patients feel better while they receive care. Words like “relationship building” and “empathy” often come up. Overall, it can be a slippery concept, but it is very important to the success of your practice. We want to take some time today to discuss patient-centered care. Read on!

What Exactly is Patient-Centered Care?

Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. It is a way of providing care that requires providers to base their decisions on the needs of the patient. This doesn’t exactly seem like a crazy new concept, but when it comes down to it, patient-centered care actually runs against many current practices. The current medical system includes regulations and needs for profit that put the facility first, the rulebook second, and the patient needs third. Here is an example: someone suffering from allergies might visit the office with the hopes of understanding what is going on and be swept up in tests, office visits, and a steroid prescription. The patient’s frustration would likely rise but the system causing the frustration isn’t designed to notice that.

Patient-centered care seeks to remedy a situation that turns patients into pawns. Leveraging communication, relationship, and empathy, it aligns treatment with the patient rather than the facility or rulebook.

Core Principles

In the 1980s, a woman named Jean became very sick. She and her husband, Harvey Picker, turned to the U.S. medical system and found that, while it was clinically strong, it was extremely short on compassion and humanity. The couple founded the Picker Institute, which seeks to fix health care using the following eight tenets:

  • Physical comfort. The importance of this tenet calls for respecting patient privacy, correctly managing pain, and assisting patients with daily activities. The goal here is to enhance patient satisfaction.
  • Respect for patient preferences, values, and expressed needs. Care will not look the same for everyone. This individualization of care only works when patients are informed, which leads us to the next tenet.
  • Education, information, and communication. Patients should be aware of what is going on. They should not be lost in a maze of medical jargon. They should be able to participate in the decision-making process and should be able to express both expectations and concerns.
  • Involvement of friends and family. Friends and family play unique roles as patient advocates. Because of this, they should always be treated with respect and welcomed into the medical process.
  • Integration and coordination of care. Patients have contact with a few people, who have contact with a bunch of third parties. Every effort should be made by all parties to act as a united body on the patient’s behalf.
  • Transition and continuity. Before any patient is discharged, the facility must ensure that he or she understands needs for diet, medication, therapy, and other issues. The goal is to empower the patient to walk the road of recovery without having to return to the facility due to complications.
  • Alleviation of anxiety and fear. Health issues can be frightening, frustrating, and stressful for patients. Patient-centered care recognizes this and the fact that addressing fear about treatment is as important as treating the illness itself.
  • Easy access to care. Any barrier between patients and care should be removed. This means locations should be convenient, transportation should be an option, scheduling should be easy, and specialists should be accessible.

We Are Here to Help

Though we don’t have contact with patients, we know our work allows care providers to give their patients the care they need. This is why we do what we do in Texas. We are proud to provide medical waste management services, including collection, transportation, disposal, and training. We seek to provide a small-business feel with the very best service. At the end of the day, we see ourselves as your allies, and we want to help. Contact us and take your practice to the next level today!

Tagged under: