What is person-centered care?
From medical facilities to assisted-living centers, "person-centered care" has been gaining a lot of momentum. While person-centered care means something different in each of these contexts, there are some consistent themes throughout all types of facilities.
At a high level, person-centered care is about treating the individual, not the condition that the individual has. What is being evaluated are the needs of the person as a whole, not just the specific service that is being provided. Compassion is at the core of the person-centered care philosophy, and because this care is individualized to the person, it acknowledges and maintains their human dignity.
And most importantly, the person, who is at the center of the care, is involved as an equal partner in the decision-making alongside the professional. Additionally, person-centered care can involve the help of family or friends to determine the best personalized care program.
This philosophy is not only a way of treating people, but it is also a way of thinking. This means that facilities can be structured around providing person-centered care, though they may call it "patient-centered" or "resident-centered" care.
Why does person-centered care matter?
The reason why more facilities are moving toward person-centered care is that research has seen that it can have a big impact on the quality of care that someone receives and improve their health outcomes. By looking at the whole person, care programs can look at more aspects of a person’s lifestyle to help create better health. This often leads to more well-rounded care and a healthier lifestyle. When looking at benefits that exercising and diet can have, for example, creating and choosing a regiment that is more aligned with what the person would actually want to do can increase the odds of actually adhering to the program. Additionally, because they were a part of the decision-making of their care management, they’re more invested in sticking to it than if it was assigned or prescribed to them.
Another benefit of person-centered care is that professionals feel a higher level of job satisfaction. This isn’t surprising since many people who go into the medical or senior industries are dedicated to helping people. When staff gets to know the people they’re helping better, they are happier in their jobs. With person-centered care benefitting both the person and the staff, many facilities are shifting their priorities to what is best for the patient or resident and away from what is best for the facility.
What has the research shown?
A research study has shown that when patient-centered care was implemented at hospitals, the average length of stay was decreased, the amount spent per patient decreased, and patient satisfaction increased. Another study by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield showed that patients who received patient-centered care were 8% less likely to be admitted to a hospital and 5% less likely to end up in the emergency room. While both of these studies are medically related, the benefits of patient-centered care are likely similar to resident-centered care.
How does Onward offer person-centered care?
Onward’s mission is to provide compassionate assistance to those who need it. We have built our company around person-centered care to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of each rider. Here are just a few examples of how Onward offers person-centered care.
Each ride is personalized to the needs and interests of the rider. When a rider first books a ride with us, Onward gets an understanding of any issues that would help the driver to ensure a smooth trip. From vision impairment to use of a walker, our drivers will be ready to make sure the needs of the rider are met.
We also know how important building relationships are. Many of our riders have established very close bonds with their drivers, so we have a Favorite Drivers feature that allows riders to request the drivers that they want for their rides. This helps ensure that riders feel comfortable on their trips and that they can continue their bond with the drivers.
The drivers aren’t the only people that our riders form a bond with. The Onward Concierge also gets to know our riders when they call to schedule a ride or provide feedback on their trip. We know that the rider isn’t the only person involved in care programs. Onward allows custodians and caretakers to share any important steps that the driver should take when helping to manage riders. For example, if a dialysis rider pushes back on going to their important appointment, our drivers can be sure to contact social workers and facilities to make sure that all parties are informed.
Our system also allows caretakers to monitor the route of their loved one. Onward allows caretakers to track when the rider is picked up and dropped off so they can have peace of mind that the rider has made it safely to their destination.
Person-centered care has been proven to benefit recipients of care as well as the staff that are providing supporting care. No matter what facility is providing care, consider one that has a person-centered foundation to ensure you get the best care.