Patient-focused care means providing the right treatment and doing what is best for patient’s health. It’s the driving force behind everything we do at Eclipse and the cornerstone of creating a patient-focused practice.
It means delivering treatment that is valuable to the individual patient and involving them in their care.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School have defined several key elements to creating a patient-focused practice. These principles are conducive to a positive patient experience and create the foundation of a patient-focused care.
1. Respect for patients’ values, preferences and expressed needs. By involving patients in decision-making, providers can offer custom care that recognizes individuals’ own unique preferences. Understand that some patients may have an appetite for more comprehensive treatment while others are only seeking for minor assistance with a minimal health issue.
2. Information and education. In interviews, patients expressed their worries that they were not being completely informed about their condition or prognosis. To counter this fear, providers can focus on information on clinical status, progress and prognosis; information on processes of care; and information to facilitate autonomy, self-care and health promotion.
3. Physical comfort. The level of physical comfort patients report has a significant impact on their experience. The areas reported as particularly important to patients are pain management, healing and after-care, ongoing at-home treatment, and a comfortable patient environment.
4. Continuity and transition. Patients expressed concern about their ability to care for themselves after discharge. Meeting patient needs in this area requires the following: Understandable, detailed information regarding medications, treatment, and what to expect in the following days and weeks. By helping to set expectations up-front patients felt more secure in the treatment plan and reported less pain and downtime following procedures.
5. Access to care. Patients need to know they can access care when it is needed. Focusing mainly on ambulatory care, the following areas were of importance to the patient: Easy access clinics and physician offices, the ease of scheduling appointments, availability of appointments when needed, and accessibility to specialty services when needed.
By empowering patients to take an active role in their health, providers and practice owners can help engage patients and significantly improve outcomes. This will also help yield a loyal patient base and build the foundation of a trusted physician-patient relationship for years to come.