Managing one or more chronic illnesses and the physical side effects of aging among older adults often requires complex healthcare management to ensure their needs are being fully met. As the number of older adults increases, ensuring that healthcare professionals are equipped to provide this care is essential.
The needs of older patients are different from other populations, and care providers need to tailor their care to them. Developing a patient-centered approach can result in more positive outcomes for patients and their families.
Let’s dive in to find out more.
What is Patient-Centered Care?
A patient-centered healthcare system is rooted in a strong relationship between patients and their doctors. They know one another, trust one another, and work together to find the best course of treatment. A patient-centered healthcare system empowers patients instead of making decisions for them.
It gives patients and healthcare providers a voice in which treatments, diagnostics and devices are worthwhile and appropriate. This type of care also allows patients to access the medicine and services they need rather than driving up costs with one-size-fits-all policies that only make some patients sicker.
Under a patient-centered system, care teams strive to understand and treat the patient. They create tailored, complete care plans that give equal attention to mental health, social and human needs, and traditional medical care.
As a result, costs are reduced and health outcomes improve. Instead of medical complications, emergency room visits and late-stage disease treatment, patients have personalized preventive and timely care. They can manage chronic diseases and prevent avoidable ones.
Ways to Provide Patient-Centered Care in Adult Gerontology
Older people often experience more than one health condition. These problems are often ongoing, yet health systems are usually designed to detect and treat individual diseases and conditions. As a result, they tend to manage older people’s health issues in fragmented ways, which has negative consequences.
Health systems must shift from managing each disease or condition separately to a more holistic and integrated approach focused on building and maintaining older people’s physical and mental capacity. Here are some of the ways to provide patient-centered care.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Hospitals that genuinely value patient-centered care urge all staff members to prioritize the patient, even if they’re not directly involved in patient care. The idea is that staff members in any department, including food service, billing, security and housekeeping, will work more effectively if they know how important their work is for providing high-quality care. In national polls and other evaluations, hospitals that have successfully established this patient-first, team-driven environment typically receive superior quality and satisfaction scores.
Personalized patient care emphasizes the value of respect and decency in the medical field. These values involve incorporating the wishes of the patient into the care-plan, such as their moral principles, cultural norms, spiritual views and personal opinions.
Several hospitals have introduced pet therapy programs, natural light sources, music therapy, healing gardens and other components to improve the comfort of their patients and their families. Religious convictions can also influence how older adults care for themselves when ill. You can gain your patients’ respect and trust by respecting their cultural and spiritual inclinations.
Paying attention to these wishes and anticipating their responses to medical advice is vital. It is crucial to respect a patient’s decision and find alternatives for their care, such as when, for example, they have diabetes but are fasting for religious reasons.
Patient Education and Knowledge
The care of patients and their families as participants in healthcare provision is a fundamental concept of patient-centered care. Nurses can use their position to give hospitalized individuals patient-centered care and assist them in learning more about their illnesses. When a patient is being transferred to another facility or being discharged, and when they are experiencing severe pain or are afraid of their circumstances, family engagement is crucial.
Patient safety is the most critical factor in determining whether a treatment is suitable and must be considered above all else in every decision. To ensure proper action and comprehension, it is essential for nurses to draw on their patient care experience and clinical expertise.
Patient-centered treatment depends on informed consent. Access to digital information may increase people’s comprehension to the point where they feel compelled to inquire further about their health.
Some nurses suggest that patients use their cell phones or tablets to read easily digestible digital content at their leisure. It’s crucial to highlight that this suggestion can give people access to accurate details rather than the erroneous information they could discover by conducting their own internet searches.
Learn Patient-Centered Care Fundamentals in Nursing
As patient-centered care in adult gerontology gains prominence, the role of nurses may grow to become the most crucial in spurring systematic change. A program such as Baylor University’s Adult Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner program is useful if you are ready to become part of this movement and advance your nursing profession.
The program fosters the development of outstanding nursing leaders by emphasizing cutting-edge approaches to support patient-centered care, information systems and technology expertise. This knowledge is necessary for delivering transformative healthcare and the abilities required to assess the healthcare requirements of vulnerable and diverse populations.
Shift to Patient-Centered Care
All healthcare decisions and quality evaluations in patient-centered care are guided by the unique needs of each patient and their health goals. It is anticipated that as patient-centered healthcare gains popularity, patients will increasingly be engaged and content with how they provide care.
Patients and their medical professionals work together as partners to treat their physical conditions while meeting their social, spiritual, mental, emotional and financial needs. As a result, the healthcare system and patients benefit from improved health outcomes. The healthcare system has been focused on disease for long enough; it’s time to focus on patients.