Patient-centered care and future of nursing

A doctor talking to a patient

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With patient-centered care, the emphasis is put on each individual patient’s unique needs and goals with treatment. This means always putting the patient first by taking the time to fully understand them on all levels – spiritually, culturally, and personally.

Patient-centered care encourages patients and their families to take their condition or illness seriously and work with their medical team to create a plan that has the highest chance of success while considering their personal preferences and needs.

Some treatments are not permitted due to cultural customs or religious beliefs

With many areas becoming more diverse, there are more instances where cultural and religious beliefs may affect a nurse’s ability to practice nursing the way they were taught. There are some belief systems that prohibit some types of medical procedures and treatments that can make a major difference in patient outcome and quality of life. Regardless, a nurse and other providers must respect and acknowledge a patient’s wishes whenever possible.

Patient-centered care keeps patients informed

It is the goal of any medical professional working in a patient-centered care practice to inform patients of any important information regarding their care and treatment even if it takes a considerable amount of time to do so. In order for patients to have the highest level of care, it is important they have a good understanding of what is going on with their health.

Questions are answered promptly and honestly

It is understandable that patients and their families may have a lot of questions about every aspect of their health status and the treatment options available. With patient-centered care it is very important that all questions are answered as much as possible. This means that sometimes a nurse may have to refer to another medical professional to get a complete answer. It is important to explain to a patient what you are doing to get an answer if you cannot provide one immediately. Following through on providing answers shows patients that they can trust you and your facility.

Patient feedback is valued in a patient-centered care facility

Medical practices are busy places, especially considering the overwhelming demand for health care workers that is not being met. Patient feedback helps facilities know what they are doing right and where they can improve so they know where to concentrate any funds and time for improvements. 

Patient surveys via text or email can help facilities gather data and quantify it, but it is also a good idea to ask patients in person during their visit if they have any suggestions, concerns, etc.

Patient-centered care prevents mistakes and misunderstandings

Encouraging and participating in an open line of communication prevents misunderstandings that can impede medical care and treatment. When patients are kept well informed and given the opportunity to ask as many questions as they need to in order to get a good understanding of their prognosis and treatment, there is less potential for conflict. 

Talking to patients and asking the right questions prevents improper or incomplete diagnosis of symptoms so patients can get the care they needed more promptly so it is more effective.

Patient-centered care practices encourage preventative medicine

When there is a relationship built on trust and communication between a patient and medical professional, the patient is more likely to try to make and attend recommended preventative appointments and testing. This is important to stress in a post COVID-19 world where many people got used to putting off very important preventative care and health screenings. With better access to healthcare due to more people having good insurance, it is important that medical professionals encourage patients to take advantage of the benefits offered by their insurance coverage.

Patient-centered care encourages long-term patient and doctor relationships

While medical facilities use technology to keep medical records that can be easily shared, there is still nothing like the trust and quality of care that comes with patients finding a doctor and facility they are comfortable with and using them for the majority of their medical care. Patient-centered care helps develop relationships that can lead to patient loyalty. When you go to the same medical facility, the doctors and nurses are more familiar with your individual needs and condition so they can provide care faster and more easily maintain high standards for care.

Advanced education in nursing allows nurses to offer specialized patient-centered care

There are many different certifications and degrees that nurses can pursue as they gain experience. Rockhurst University offers an AGACNP post-master’s certificate online that makes nurses certified to care for adults with acute or complex diseases and conditions. This is a specialty that is in great demand and will be even more so in the future due to the high number of aging adults. More people are living longer, which increases the likelihood that they will at some point develop a chronic condition.

Adding certificates and advanced degrees to your resume will increase your earning potential and make it easier to find jobs in higher-level positions at any medical facility.

Patient-centered care is the future for any medical facility

Patients are demanding that their medical team respects their wishes and keeps them informed throughout their diagnosis and treatment. No matter if medical care is being provided at a hospital, urgent care clinic, private practice, or at a university or correctional institution, the principals of patient-centered care are required.


Putting the patient first is critical to providing a high level of care on a consistent basis. By establishing a trusting relationship with patients and their families, providers can build their practices and increase the diversity of their practice at the same time.

Patient-centered care helps patients take charge of their healthcare and encourages them to stick to the best treatment plan for their unique needs.

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