Friday, April 7, 2017

An Intro to Person-Centered Care

Holly Harmon, RN, MBA, LNHA, FACHCA
AHCA Senior Director of Clinical Services

Person-centered care has become common language across healthcare settings and has a renewed emphasis in the Reform of Requirements of Participation for nursing centers.  So, what is person-centered care, really? 

AHCA members have been leading the way in defining what person-centered care means.  The AHCA Clinical Practice Committee developed the following Principles of Person-Centered Professional Care. 

  • The patient is seen and cared for as a whole person, not compartmentalized into body parts or functions. 
  •  Engagement of the interdisciplinary team is essential to the care and services for the patient according to their individual needs.
  • Person centered care is not task focused, rather it is focused on the person and their needs which is unique for each individual and cannot be accurately reflected in a categorical manner.
  • Quality outcomes are the result of a comprehensive, holistic and individualized dynamic relationship between the direct caregivers, interdisciplinary team, support staff, patient and family.
  • Flexibility in provision of care and services is critical to desired outcomes and requires consideration of both quality of life and quality of care aspects.  

In addition, the Committee developed a framework called Building Prevention Into Every Day Practice which outlines key elements from both an organizational and clinical nature that are critical to successful clinical and organizational outcomes.  One of these elements from an organizational nature is Principles of Person Centered Care.  In the face of a resident’s illnesses and impairments, the primary purpose of care is to support individuals in living as satisfactory and fulfilling a life as possible. It is important to be aware of each individual’s preferences, issues, and risks and tailor recommendations and actions accordingly.  Residents make choices and actively participate in their care planning, which is used as a foundation for everyday person-centered care.  Competent clinical reasoning and effective diagnosis facilitate truly individualized care by enabling interventions tailored to underlying causes.

Another element in the framework of a clinical nature is Individualized Care Approaches Reflected in Care Planning.  This element describes how the care plan results from effective reasoning and problem solving activities based on reliable evidence. It is the blueprint for the activities and interventions related to each individual’s outcomes. Individualized care plan approaches based upon a systematic thought process help the person reach their highest practicable level of function and well-being. Staff must develop and refine the care plan based on analyzing detailed, organized information and in the proper context without discipline-specific or topic-specific “silos.”

These resources provide an understanding of person-centered care concepts and approaches; however, it is important to recognize person-centered care likely means something a little bit different for each person.  The best way to learn what person-centered care means for each person who is served in your center is to ask them, get to know them as a person, and let each person’s strengths and interests breathe life into the care and services provided in your center. 

And be sure to visit the AHCA website here to learn more about Building Prevention Into Every Day Practice.


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