While accrediting organizations look at different ways to ensure hospitals are complying with Medicare regulations, a comprehensive approach to hospital quality and safety must include patient-centered care, according to executives.
Many in the healthcare industry still view patient-centered care as peripheral to quality and safety, according to Susan Frampton, president of Planetree, a Derby, Conn.-based organization that advocates for integrating a patient perspective in care. Until we get over that misconception, I think were going to continue to have that challenge, she said.
Planetree, in partnership with the Picker Institute, last week released a guide to help facilities establish patient-centered care practices and embrace the model as a way to conduct care. The guide is available for free through both organizations, and had received support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Contrary to some perceptions, patient-centered care is not just about services like pillow fluffing and massages, but engaging patients to be active participants in their care and improving staff communicationactions that can lead to safer healthcare, Frampton said.
Some well-known providers are integrating patient-centered care principles into their practices already. The Cleveland Clinic has focused on creating a culture in which every member of the staff understands the patient comes first, said Delos Toby Cosgrove, a physician who is president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic. Practices such as conducting shift reports at the bedside so patients can participate and allowing patients to view their own medical records while in the hospital lead to increased satisfaction and higher quality, said Cosgrove, who gave a presentation during a CEO Summit hosted by Planetree in Chicago. The health system has implemented both those practices.
Healthcare quality consists of three types of experience: medical, physical and emotional, Cosgrove said. That last is probably the hardest of all, but at the end of the day its all about attitude, he said.
As the industry focuses on quality and safety, organizations such as the Joint Commission, the Institute of Medicine and the CMS have begun to integrate patient-centered techniques into their initiatives, Frampton said. The IOM has listed patient-centered care as one of its six healthcare strategies and the commission is studying how to implement cultural competency standards. In addition, the CMS Hospital Compare Web site incorporates patient-satisfaction survey information into its reports and continues to look at satisfaction in its value-based purchasing models. Weve really gone quite a distance, she said.