Sometimes, it’s the simple lessons that can be forgotten in the drive to improve technologies critical to industries like healthcare. We live in an age where stem cell research is leading to the cloning of organs, where cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s are being aggressively pursued with promising results. These are initiatives to improve the health of patients, but what about the comfort and mindset of the people at the center of these treatments?
Amid these efforts to move medical science and technology forward, we see a renewed interest in what lies at the center of all our focus on improving medical treatment; the patient. That rediscovery is an initiative is called patient-centric care, and it’s changing the way we look at medical treatment.
Not A Case But A Person
At its simplest, patient-centric care is all about remembering that someone receiving medical treatment is not just a case number. Patient-centric care remembers that a patient seeking treatment is a person. This person has a past, has preferences, and, perhaps most important of all, has concerns and anxieties about receiving medical treatment. And this person is unlikely to completely understand what is happening.
Patient-centric care, is about putting more effort into the empathetic understanding of a patient, rather than just focusing on the treatments administered to “get the numbers up, and get the patient out.”
Getting Care At Home
One of the biggest innovations with patient-centric care is the virtual hospital. Pioneered by groups like Medically Home, virtual hospitals place a premium on the comfort, security, and recovery of the patient. Eligible patients can recover—or even be treated entirely—in the comfort of their own home.
And patient-centric care is about more than allowing some patients recover at home. While the virtual hospital concept is critical, just as important is personalization. The recovery and treatment a patient receives must go beyond ensuring that the dosage of medicine is right for this specific case. Catering to a patient’s specific needs, like engaging with a Hispanic patient in Spanish, for example, goes a long way towards advancing patient-centric care. Instructing family caregivers, so that a patient is treated by familiar people, creates a better, more comforting treatment experience. Patient-centric care is all about making the patient the priority.