The Importance of Patient-centered Care


The Importance of Patient-centered Care

By: Laura P. Etre, Psy.D.
Chief Psychology Officer

Patient-centered care in long-term care facilities is considered the touchstone for care in our industry, and is an approach that MedOptions prides itself on. In short, it is care centered on each individual patient’s values and desires with a focus on quality of life.

Patient centered care supports optimal psychological functioning for residents.  Mental health experts are regularly consulted for treatment of adjustment-related conditions and dementia-related behavior disturbances – both of which are impacted by the level of individualized care a patient receives and the approach of that care.

While everybody agrees that the patient-centered care approach is ideal, the reality is that the logistics involved make implementation tricky.  In long-term care facilities, we are left to balance patient preferences with the safety implications of those preferences.

For example, questions arise like, “Should Mrs. Smith, a resident with cognition within normal limits and diabetes, be given ice cream everyday because this is her preference?”

“Should Mr. Baker, a resident with cognition within normal limits and compromised mobility, be permitted to transfer himself from his bed to his wheelchair because he desires greater autonomy?”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) say that a person’s right to self-determination is just as important as safety, so we must be careful not to discount patient wishes without objective consideration of whatever real risks might be involved in honoring those wishes.

The MedOptions clinician is one member of the multidisciplinary team whose collective goal is to provide individualized care and treatment.   We will continue to do whatever we can to support and move this fundamental objective of providing patient-centered care forward to optimize the well-being of residents, and ultimately their quality of life.