Person-centered care - ready for prime time
Long-term diseases are today the leading cause of mortality worldwide and are estimated to be the leading cause of disability by 2020. Person-centered care (PCC) has been shown to advance concordance between care provider and patient on treatment plans, improve health outcomes and increase patient satisfaction. Yet, despite these and other documented benefits, there are a variety of significant challenges to putting PCC into clinical practice. Although care providers today broadly acknowledge PCC to be an important part of care, in our experience we must establish routines that initiate, integrate, and safeguard PCC in daily clinical practice to ensure that PCC is systematically and consistently practiced, i.e. not just when we feel we have time for it. In this paper, we propose a few simple routines to facilitate and safeguard the transition to PCC. We believe that if conscientiously and systematically applied, they will help to make PCC the focus and mainstay of care in long-term illness.