Planetree and the Picker Institute released a new guide to help hospitals implement practices that establish patient-centered care in their facilities.
The improvement guide outlines best practices and addresses common barriers to implementing patient-centered care, said Susan Frampton, president of the Derby, Conn.-based Planetree. More than 140 healthcare facilities are members of the Planetree network, which advocates for treatment from the patient perspective. The guide was developed in partnership with the Picker Institute, Camden, Maine, a not-for-profit organization that supports the principles of patient-centered care and advocates those on a global level.
The guide lays out a road map in several areas including, patient and family engagement, communication, continuity of care, access to information, environment of care, spirituality and caring for the community and caregivers. The 241-page guideavailable on Planetrees Web site for free in a downloadable formalso includes a self-assessment tool, specific documentation and techniques some hospitals already have implemented and tips for building involvement at all leadership levels.
Data and technology play a role in establishing patient-centered care, as long as the data are used effectively to create meaningful information, according to the guide. Technology that promotes communication and continuity of care, such as providing Internet access to medical records are helpful, Planetree said in the guide. The organization still cautions providers against relying too heavily on technology itself. If misused, both data and technology can become barriers to patient-centered care, Planetree said.
Developing patient-centered care leads to better quality and safety in hospitals and many organizations such as the Joint Commission, Institute of Medicine and the CMS are beginning to recognize that, Frampton said. Weve really gone quite a distance to establishing tangible, operational practices of patient-centered care, she said.