Monday, December 25, 2006

Making Patient-Centered Care a Priority

Making Patient-Centered Care a Priority: "... attributes of patient-centered primary care:

1. Superb access to care. Patients can easily make appointments and select the day and time. Waiting times are short. E-mail and telephone consultations are offered. Off-hours service is available.
2. Patient engagement in care. Patients have the option of being informed and engaged partners in their care. Practices provide information on treatment plans, preventive and follow-up care reminders, access to medical records, assistance with self-care, and counseling.
3. Clinical information systems that support high-quality care, practice-based learning, and quality improvement. Practices maintain patient registries; monitor adherence to treatment; have easy access to lab and test results; and receive reminders, decision support, and information on recommended treatments.
4. Care coordination. Specialist care is coordinated, and systems are in place to prevent errors that occur when multiple physicians are involved. Posthospital follow-up and support is provided.
5. Integrated and comprehensive team care. There is a free flow of communication among physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Duplication of tests and procedures is avoided."

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