Patient-centric care, also called patient-focused care, is becoming a more common approach in behavioral health treatment settings. Many tools for clinical directors are designed with patient-centric care in mind. Any behavioral health practitioner can practice patient-centric care and experience its benefits for both providers and patients.
Sunwave Health offers a data-driven software platform specific to the behavioral health industry. Contact us online for more information.
What Does Patient-Centric Care Mean?
Patient-centered care is an umbrella term for an approach where patients’ health needs, preferences, values, and desired health outcomes drive decision-making. Healthcare providers become partners with—and advocates for—their patients. They consider patients’ mental, emotional, and social needs as well as their clinical and physical needs. Outcomes are measured based on how well they align with patients’ values. The goal of any patient-centered care system is to empower patients to participate actively in their treatment.
How to Center Patients in Your Approach to Care
Important aspects of practicing patient-centered treatment include the following:
- Giving patients the education they need to make informed decisions about their health
- Addressing the patient’s emotional needs, including fear and anxiety
- Involving the patient’s family, friends, and loved ones in treatment planning if the patient chooses
- Providing continuity and coordination in a patient’s care plan
- Listening to and communicating with patients consistently
A patient-centered treatment program often requires integration between different services to support various health needs. The services in the patient’s treatment plan could range from peer support and social work to help with practical issues like housing and financial literacy—whatever the individual needs.
Administrative and Technical Support for Patients
Another aspect of patient-centered care involves making treatment facilities more welcoming and easier for patients to navigate. This could mean:
- Providing a simple way for patients to send messages to their doctors
- Offering appointments during nontraditional hours, like evenings and weekends
- Letting patients schedule appointments online
Patient-centered billing can also be an aspect of patient-focused care. The billing process clearly explains what a patient owes and provides a simple, convenient way for them to make payments.
Many providers use patient portals, which give patients secure, private access to their health data online. Patients can use online portals to review test results, access clinical notes from their healthcare appointments, and review any care instructions their provider may have given them. Having this information at their fingertips helps patients participate in and take ownership of their own care.
Communication, Collaboration, and Empathy
Collaboration plays a critical role in patient-centered care. Patients share in the decision-making process with their providers, and doctors give patients education that helps them make intelligent decisions about their health. Rather than simply following guidelines from a healthcare provider, patients become the most important part of their own treatment team. Collaboration can be especially crucial if the patient is seeing multiple providers simultaneously.
Communication strategies in patient-centered care are rooted in empathy and respect for the patient. A healthcare provider might ask patients which healthcare concern they would like to discuss during the appointment, have patients tell them more about issues they’re facing, ask patients what problems they are facing in treatment, or empathize with the worries the patient expresses.
Benefits of Patient-Centered Treatment
Studies have shown that patient-centered care approaches lead to better health outcomes. Patients who seek treatment at facilities that practice patient-centered care show reduced symptoms and are less likely to require readmissions. Because patients know and understand more about their health, they’re more likely to comply with a healthcare plan after discharge and make healthy choices for their own well-being. They’re also more likely to trust and return to their healthcare providers.
For healthcare practices, patient-centered treatment improves patient satisfaction, creates price transparency, and allows for relationship-building between provider and patient.
Behavioral Health Software for a Patient-Centered Approach
Our software platform covers the patient’s entire behavioral health journey and can help you transition into a model of patient-centered care that will drive positive, healthy results.
Patient-centered processes are integrated into all our platforms. Patient information is accessible in one place, easy to understand, and able to transition seamlessly between providers and practices. Our telehealth tools allow you to send forms and payment requests to patients online in a format that’s convenient and easy for them to use. Progress reports help healthcare providers monitor the effectiveness of their treatment and partner with their patients.
With software handling the administrative tasks, you can focus on delivering consistent, compassionate care. Get started by reaching out online to learn what we have to offer.