NR-351: Transitions in Professional Nursing
Patient –Centered Care in the Hospital Setting
Patient centered care with a holistic approach is a vital part of nursing care today to meet the patients ever changing needs. Nurses using this type of care provide “knowledge, resources, and support” (Hood, 2014, p. 408) to patients and families. This type of care allows the patient and their families to become participating members of the health care team.
Importance of Patient-Centered Care
Patient-centered care involves an interdisciplinary team. This team involves the doctors, nurses, case managers, dietitians, physical, occupational and respiratory therapies, the patient and their family members. The interdisciplinary team follows the plan of care established for the patient from admission to discharge. They “review current clinical needs, practice established guidelines, and care principles that improve client outcomes” (Hood, 2014, p.251). It is very important that every interdisciplinary team member who participates in the patient care communicate with each other. Many fatal mistakes can be made due to lack of communication with the interdisciplinary team, patient and family members. A breakdown of any communication with this patient-centered care team can lead to negative outcomes for the patients.
Effective Patient-Centered Care in Healthcare
The admission and discharge process from inpatient care to home is a critical part of Patient-Centered Care. During this process many vital mistakes in communication can occur, causing potential harm to patients. Example: patients do not understand that a NPO status not only includes food and water but chewing gum and eating hard candy when they are scheduled for a procedure, thus the procedure is delayed or cancelled due to the patient intake of candy or chewing gum that increases patients risk for aspiration during a procedure. Therefore, upon admission and inpatient care “Patients, families, physicians, and nurses believe that sharing information about the patient’s health status was important and necessary (B. Riley – J. White – S. Graham – A. Alexandrov – American Journal of Critical Care – 2014)” and patient must be well informed about their care to optimize patient care and satisfaction. Not only is it important that patients, family, and team members understand and follow the patients plan of care during the patients hospital stay, but at home too. Some patients and families feel that after returning home they do not understand their discharge instructions and miss crucial follow up appointment to continue their care. Thus a breakdown of communication and patient-centered care has occurred. The end result being frequent inpatient readmissions and higher medical cost passed on to the patient. Nurses must be aware of patients’ needs and understanding of continued care at home and provide the needed educational materials and resources to maintain optimal health at home. Health care providers must also remember the regulatory bodies such as Joint Commission are enforcing communication and patient centered care along with family-centered care as a new core measure to follow during hospital inpatient stay.
Everyone who is participating in the care of the patient is equally important, from the certified nursing assistant to the physician in charge of the patient care, to our patients and their family members. We as nurses are our patients advocate. We must be empathetic with those in our care and communicate with honesty to obtain our patients trust. We also need to remember patients and their family members have the right to be involved in their care, including decisions about ethical issues. We will encounter many different patients and cultures in our careers due to ever growing diverse population of today’s society. Always remember the patient or patient’s family may not remember our faces or names but, they will remember how we treated them and their families while in our care.