Giving Compass' Take:

· In effort to provide a healthcare system that truly focuses on the wellbeing of patients, Jessica Plante explains that patient-centered care is the best option. Patient-centered care aims to put the patient, their circumstances, and their time at top priority and open the door for honest conversation with their provider.

· How are patients becoming included in the care process? How would this create an effective and impactful health system? Why is it important to prioritize the patient and their comfort in healthcare?

· Here's more on how a lack of trust has created a barrier to patient-centered care.

Last November, University of Utah Health published survey results in which 80% of respondents admitted to lying to their doctor about health information. Respondents reported fear of being judged for things such as smoking, having an unhealthy diet, or driving without a seatbelt, so the information went unsaid.

Simply put, it is hard for patients to speak openly and honestly with their doctors, or other healthcare providers.

The inability to hold an honest conversation with one’s doctor is just one sign of a health system not fully serving patients. From fear of being judged, to feeling rushed through the office as providers seek to see as many patients as possible, most primary care does not provide sufficient space for patients to speak their minds and share their concerns. It also does not give providers with enough time to understand how their patients’ individual behavior—which influences 40% of one’s health status—is impacting their health. If patients cannot, and do not feel comfortable opening up to their providers, and providers don’t have time and space to fully grasp their patients’ circumstances, the latter can’t effectively improve the health of their patients. This disconnect is why many providers are working on more patient-centered approaches to care.

Patient-centered care aims to put patients back at the center of the healthcare conversation. It seeks to make patients’ circumstances, including their cultural values and socioeconomic status, the impetus behind all health decisions, rather than the provider’s schedule and the pressure many providers feel to see as many patients as possible. It also focuses on shared decision-making and collaboration between provider and patient.

Read the full article about patient-centered care by Jessica Plante at the Christensen Institute.