Patient-centered care is defined as “care provision that is consistent with the values, needs, and desires of patients and is achieved when clinicians involve patients in healthcare discussions and decisions” (Constand, MacDermid, Dal Bello-Haas, & Law, 2014, p. 271). It is considered that the given approach to patients is associated with multiple benefits. Some of them include improved health outcomes, greater satisfaction with rendered services, and lower health costs (Constand et al., 2014). It is possible to say that patient communication and patient accountability are the two major principles of patient-centered care. By implementing them, nurses can realize the given care model in practice and apply it to various situations and settings.
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According to Sari, Prabandari, and Claramita (2016), the quality of nurse-patient and physician-patient interactions defines the level of healthcare practitioners’ professionalism because sensitive, sincere, considerate, and emotionally valuable communication can potentially improve the overall patients’ experiences of healthcare. It is worth noticing that efficient communication implies the consideration of intellectual, physiological, and other individual traits. Thus, a well-developed communication culture in the hospital always facilitates the fulfillment of patients’ multicultural interests and needs.
Communication that meets the framework of patient-centered care also requires the ability to meet and address various patient demands and concerns that arise during the process of treatment. For example, Chawla et al. (2016) state that the informativeness of communication or, in other words, the disclosure of relevant information about care plans and available treatment options, as well as active involvement of patients in the decision-making process, is regarded by service recipients as an essential part of effective care. Since informative and sensitive communication contributes to quality improvement through the development of trust and perception of care providers’ accountability in patients, it is essential to practice it regularly as part of patient-centered care.
Patient-Centered Care in Nursing Home Settings
As was mentioned above, the consideration of individual patient characteristics and specific needs is core to a patient-centered approach. Thus, nurses should adopt caring practices to the interests and preferences of a patient population with whom they work. As stated by O’Shea, Weathers, and McCarthy (2014), family involvement is important during care for older people due to a high level of their dependence on relatives in multiple aspects of life including decision-making, assistance with daily activities, and others. Therefore, in nursing home settings, healthcare practitioners should strive to develop excellent relationships with patients’ family members. For this, they must aim to create a comfortable environment for both the setting residents and their relatives and provide them with access to all the necessary information (O’Shea et al., 2014).
The development of staff-family relationships and involvement of relatives in the course of care can be highly beneficial for patients admitted to the setting. According to O’Shea et al. (2014), it can largely help them to maintain social connectedness and be recognized. Thus, the adherence to the family-centered approach can support the psycho-emotional well-being of elderly patients.
Overall, patient-centered care is associated with higher-quality service and increased patient satisfaction. It comprises such key practical elements as accountable and empathic patient communication, as well as consideration of patient-specific needs, values, and interests. Based on this, in nursing homes, practitioners can focus on the creation of a comfortable environment for senior patients, as well as their families, by rendering optimal care and involving family members in this process. More active and meaningful staff-family communication in these settings is one of the primary aspects of ensuring the well-being of elderly residents as it helps to maintain their social connectedness and promotes a sense of personal value.
Chawla, N., Blanch-Hartigan, D., Virgo, K. S., Ekwueme, D. U., Xuesong, H., Forsythe, L.,… Yabroff, K. R. (2016). Quality of patient-provider communication among cancer survivors: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Oncology Practice, 12(12), e964-e973.
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Constand, M. K., MacDermid, J. C., Dal Bello-Haas, V., & Law, M. (2014). Scoping review of patient-centered care approaches in healthcare. BMC Health Services Research, 14, 271.
O’Shea, F., Weathers, E., & McCarthy, G. (2014). Family care experiences in nursing home facilities. Nursing Older People, 26(2), 26-31.
Sari, M. I., Prabandari, Y. S., & Claramita, M. (2016). Physicians’ professionalism at primary care facilities from patients’ perspective: The importance of doctors’ communication skills. Journal of Family Medicine & Primary Care, 5(1), 56-60.