You’ve undoubtedly run across the term “patient-centric” when you work in the healthcare field, no matter your specialty. In fact, it’s become something of a buzzword. And because people throw the term around, its real meaning may grow muddled.
What is patient-centric care, and why is it so important? We’ll check out patient centricity in healthcare: what it is, why it matters and how you can adopt it.
[Related: The Secret to Increasing Patient Acquisition]
Patient Centricity: Definition and Core Meaning
Broadly, “patient centricity in healthcare” (or “patient-centric care”) is what it seems: focusing on the patient as a provider. You might also see “patient-centered care” or “person-centered care,” which are plain names for the same concept.
The provider-patient relationship isn’t a one-way street in patient-centric healthcare. There’s no strict hierarchy where you state (outright or implied), “I’m the doctor, so you must do as I say.” You’re still the healthcare authority, but you and the patient work together to better their quality of life.
When the patient is your priority — along with their well-being, knowledge and participation — you’re on the right path. But fully attaining patient centricity in healthcare can be quite the uphill climb.
On the bright side, smart technologies like Wendi are helping providers speed toward a patient-centric approach. We’ll delve deeper into that in a moment! First, why should you care (a lot) about providing patient-centric healthcare?
The Advantages of Patient-Centric Healthcare
Imagine the times you visit your doctor. You want to know exactly what’s going on with your health and what your doctor’s doing about it. You also want them to understand your life and respect your decisions.
Your patients want the same. When you tick those boxes, you’re tapping into patient centricity in healthcare.
Still, true patient-centric healthcare creates advantages beyond trusting patient-provider relationships. Its benefits are many, and they range from personal to financial realms:
- Healthier, more involved patients
- Less miscommunication among providers
- More streamlined processes among providers
- Closer patient-provider communication
- Less patient and staff turnover
- Higher patient retention
- More revenue as a result of higher patient retention
- Less lost and wasted costs for all
- Positive word of mouth that attracts more patients
In the end, patient centricity in healthcare prompts a cycle that continuously benefits all parties.
Patients are happy with your care, so they stay with your practice. They tell their friends and family that you value their health and input. Those friends and family are more apt to visit your office and become regular patients.
And everyone involved enjoys better health and pays fewer expenses.
The primary advantage of a patient-centric approach is a world of healthier people, but you also boost your bottom line. After all, patient retention and acquisition are all-natural side effects of patient-centric healthcare. Now, how do you start or improve it at your practice?
How To Adopt a Patient-Centric Approach
Although a patient-centric approach is about putting patients first, doing that demands real and regular effort. For example, you or your staff may have to constantly reevaluate how you think about patients.
Here are a few key strategies that are critical to putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak:
- Ongoing, open patient communication
- Telehealth options
- Flexible, easy appointment scheduling
- Quick access to knowledge about personal health
- Access to emotional, financial and physical support systems
- Coordinated, informed and continuous care
- Respect toward patients and their needs, goals, situations and decisions
Note: You can find a detailed breakdown here, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.
Now, you may wonder how your practice can take such broad steps with the resources at your disposal. Remember those new technologies? They’re making care that’s genuinely patient-centric — meaning you put power directly in patients’ hands — attainable.
How Technology Powers Patient-Centric Healthcare
It’s one thing to reframe how you mentally approach patients and their care. It’s another to have real ways that patients can reach their personal information, weigh in and stay connected. And that’s especially true in a sprawling, multifaceted field like healthcare.
Here’s where new technologies step in. As a provider, you’re the backbone of patient centricity in healthcare. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) tools are the muscles — they connect the dots between you and your patients quickly and smartly.
Consider the growing use of online patient portals, where patients can view your notes, their medications, their balance and more. Now, think about the widespread use of automatic text and email reminders. Innovative virtual avenues like these contribute to a patient-centric approach by giving providers and patients both agency and holistic views.
With AI tools, you amplify patient-centric healthcare by offering patients ways to act, learn and communicate. Meanwhile, you have myriad ways to prompt feedback and garner information.
Meet Wendi, Your Partner in Patient-Centric Healthcare
Patient centricity in healthcare isn’t just fantastic for your patients — it’s fantastic for your practice. Get the ball rolling with Wendi.
With Wendi’s all-in-one phone, text and chat capabilities, your patients communicate with your practice in a snap. Wendi also multitasks as a medical scribe, front office assistant and insurance-checker, so lines of communication are consistently clear. And when you work with Wendi, you put the future of healthcare — a patient-centric approach — at your fingertips.
Featured image via Pexels