The COVID-19 pandemic changed how healthcare is utilized and viewed by both patients and medical professionals. Though the industry was moving toward a more consumer-centered model before 2020, the pandemic was the push that created a more collaborative healthcare environment. With the recent surge of telehealth and portal use, medical offices are becoming more aware of how to meet their patients’ needs while still getting quality work and research done.
What is Patient-Centered Care?
Patient-centered care is a supportive healthcare environment where professionals actively communicate with patients in a collaborative setting. This type of care also focuses more on individuals rather than population health goals. This individualized, person-centered care allows professionals to create more trusted relationships with their patients in a more comfortable setting,whether it be in an office space or through the use of telehealth.
Healthcare costs skyrocketed over the last decade, making more people express their frustrations and, at times, not seek out medical support at all because of those frustrations. With both patients needing medical services and doctors needing patients, healthcare settings became more collaborative. This means that the professional and the patient would work together on a more personal level to find the best coverage possible while still meeting their needs. Teamwork and individualization is the center of this collaborative approach. With the right kind of care being accessible in a way that truly benefits the patient, improvements in morale have been noticed as well as the emotional well-being of the patient.
When patients and medical professionals are on the same page and there is a clear understanding of one another’s values, patient centered care can be successful. When those in the healthcare field stay aligned with the values of patients, more individualized, beneficial care can occur. This goes for values as well as the beliefs of the patients who visit your medical office. With the diverse population of patients out there, remaining open and accepting of all differences and making that acceptance clear provides a sense of warmth in your office.
From telehealth and portals to in-person appointments, it is critical communication between doctor and patient is clear and ongoing. Productive two-way communication, whether it be through an app or at a one-on-one appointment, is essential in creating successful person-centered care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals sought out more ways to maintain active communication with patients without feeling distant or losing them in the process. Peer support programs and tech-savvy tools are just some ways the healthcare industry has maintained positive relationships with patients and created a patient-centered approach in their office.