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Why Patient-Centered Care is Important

Sep 26, 2022
 

More than 15% of American adults are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease during their lifetime. To slow disease progression, people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) need to be able to perform self-management. This vital yet complex task requires support and individualized care from healthcare professionals. 

However, some CKD patients report insufficient collaboration, communication, and support from healthcare professionals, according to a 2017 study. This is why Panoramic Health has created a value-based care platform that provides CKD and ESRD patients with holistic CKD care coordination. Panoramic Health’s approach to value-based kidney care empowers patients to approach their health journey with confidence. 

Key Points: 

 

  • The core objective of patient-centered care is the collaboration between patients and healthcare providers that aligns care with the patient’s preferences and values. 
  • Patient-centered care is based on culture, collaboration, communication, and care. 
  • Patient-centered care improves patient outcomes through targeted patient care strategies. 

What is Patient-Centered Care? 

 

Patient-centered care is a healthcare approach that gives patients the power to play an active role in their health journey. Healthcare providers treat patients clinically and consider patient care from a mental, financial, emotional, and social perspective. Many studies show when patients feel empowered in their health journey, their overall outcomes are more likely to improve. 

The fours C’s of patient-centered care:

  • Culture 
  • Care 
  • Communication 
  • Collaboration 

The elements of patient-centered care include: 

  • Complete healthcare information is shared promptly with the patient and their family, allowing them to make informed decisions. 
  • Care focuses on the emotional and physical well-being of the patient. 
  • Respect is shown to the patient and the patient’s family values, preferences, socioeconomic conditions, and cultural conditions. 
  • The healthcare provider’s mission, leadership, values, and quality-improvement drivers align with patient-centric goals. 
  • Patients and their family members play an active role in care decisions at the appropriate system and patient levels. 
  • In the care setting, the presence of family members is facilitated and encouraged.

The ultimate mission of providing patient-centric care is to improve population health outcomes and individual health outcomes. Other benefits providers and healthcare systems can receive by implementing a PCC model include: 

  • Improved financial margins and reduced expenses throughout the continuum of care. 
  • Practice satisfaction scores are improved. 
  • Ancillary staff and clinicians experience increased productivity and morale. 
  • Better resource allocation.

While implementing a patient-centric care model may be worth exploring in any healthcare setting, there is an even greater impact for those treating chronic disease patients. 

The Importance of Patient-Centered Care In Chronic Kidney Disease

 

Patients with CKD or ESKD need complex treatment, with the nature of the care changing as the disease progresses. In the later stages of CKD, care becomes less preventative and more focused on managing complications. Advanced stages of CKD have historically resulted in poorer outcomes and greater costs of care. In fact, end-stage renal disease is characterized by high incidences of hospital admissions and more demanding procedures. It is estimated that approximately 760,000 Americans are affected by ESRD, which is set to grow 5% annually. 

A patient-centric approach can provide healthcare systems and providers with initiatives that can improve overall kidney care in the U.S. Here are three reasons why PCC is important in comprehensive CKD care.

  1. Empowers patients:

CKD patients are empowered through their health journey as PCC encourages: 

  • Better access to care. 
  • More affordable treatment plans for end-stage renal disease.
  • Improved care coordination. 
  • Education including increased access to information about treatment, detection, diagnosis, and chronic kidney disease prevention. 
  • Novel innovations aimed at preventing or managing CKD.
  • Increased care model options that improve quality of life.
  1. Promotes shared decision-making:

Collaboration between the patient, healthcare professional, and the provider is one of the principles of patient-centered care. For CKD or ESRD patients, shared decision-making plays a crucial role in the stages of advanced care planning. The following measures can back an environment of shared decision-making in healthcare systems:

  • Creating novel and innovative payment model incentivizes identifying and caring for at-risk populations. 
  • Increased education on chronic kidney disease. 
  • Incentivize and inform the development of novel kidney disease treatments. 
  1. Reduces barriers to increased positive outcomes:

An essential component in managing CKD is the provision of education to facilitate informed patient decision-making for renal replacement therapy. A 2018 study identified several barriers that hindered the patient’s ability to participate in decision-making during their healthcare journey. Eight principles were identified to influence patient decision-making: values and beliefs, sociodemographics, comprehension, social influence, physician or healthcare provider engagement, communication, and screening. 

PCC is an integral approach for improving the quality of healthcare that chronic disease patients receive, as it considers the multiple facets that individual patients experience during the progression of CKD or chronic illnesses. 

Facilitators and Barriers to Patient-Centered Care – A Patient’s Perspective

 

The viewpoint of the patient can provide valuable insight into the barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation of PCC.

A study in 2019 conducted qualitative patient interviews to form insights into patient’s perceived facilitators and barriers to PCC. Three levels within a healthcare system (micro, mid-level, and macro) were identified, as follows:

  • The micro-level in this study relates to the interactions between patients and clinicians, as well as the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. 
  • The mid-level of PCC involves the process of care, the healthcare organization’s infrastructure, and the culture and climate within the organization. 
  • The final level (macro) describes the financing, structures, laws, and regulations that form the healthcare system. 

The barriers and facilitators identified by patient’s at the three levels of care related to PCC include:

At the micro level (interactions between clinicians and patients)

  • Interventions: Patients expected outcomes of improving or preventing deterioration of their health status.
  • Personality: Patients expected care providers to provide compassionate care. 
  • Professional skills: Patients expected clinicians to have comprehensive medical knowledge to offer treatments that are safe and effective.  
  • Provider well-being: The physical and emotional well-being of contact persons and clinicians played a role in patients’ care experience. 

Mid-level (relates to health and social care organizations)

  • Climate and culture
    • Communication and cohesion among staff
    • Atmosphere and services 
    • Feedback and reactions
  • Staffing and workload
    • Experience and skills 
    • Patient-provider ratio
  • Infrastructure: The relevance and accessibility of healthcare facilities.
  • Process of care within an organization
    • Continuity of care 
    • Coordination of care 
    • Timeliness of access to care 
    • Flexibility of care
  • Cooperation among care organizations

Macro-level (structural, financial, and legal conditions of care provision)

  • Structures of the healthcare system 
  • Laws and regulations
  • Lack of transparency in financing and reimbursement

Addressing the many facilitators and barriers of PCC at a health and social care level in a chronic disease setting can improve the holistic care and management of patients. Individual providers and HSCOs can address barriers and facilitators by restructuring the care process through customized PCC models and supporting team-based care provisions. 

What the Incorporation of a Patient-Centered Care Model Looks Like

 

CKD and ESRD patients’ needs are complex and ever-changing. A comprehensive care model with PCC elements included is needed to provide holistic CKD care coordination. Panoramic Health offers patients individualized treatment plans with a 360° view of their healthcare journey. From Panoramic Health’s value-based care platform, patients can expect educational resources about chronic kidney disease, a physician-led care coordination team, and holistic CKD care. 

When PCC is successfully implemented, patients are treated with dignity. Patients may also work together with healthcare professionals to become more involved in the care decision-making process.