A person’s care experience is influenced by the way they are treated as a person, and by the way they are treated for their condition. The ultimate goal of our health system is to deliver high-quality care that is safe, of value and to provide an ideal experience for patients, their carers and family.
Person-centred care is widely recognised as a foundation to safe, high-quality healthcare. It is care that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of the individual patient.
It involves seeking out, and understanding what is important to the patient, fostering trust, establishing mutual respect and working together to share decisions and plan care.
Key dimensions of person-centred care include respect, emotional support, physical comfort, information and communication, continuity and transition, care coordination, involvement of carers and family, and access to care.
There is good evidence that person-centred approaches to care can lead to improvements in safety, quality and cost effectiveness, as well as improvements in patient and staff satisfaction. More information about the evidence for person-centred approaches to care can be found in Patient-centred care: Improving quality and safety through partnerships with patients and consumers.
To achieve person-centred care healthcare providers, organisations and policy-makers need to work in partnership with consumers.
Partnering with consumers recognises the value of the consumer voice, and the need for consumer experience and expertise to help shape decisions about health care at the level of the system, service and individual.