The Future of Healthcare- Patient-Centered Healthcare Models
As the cost of healthcare skyrockets and the debate on who will pay escalates, one has to wonder, “Where does the patient fit into the future of healthcare?” On the fringe of all the chaos are a handful of organizations and facilities that are focused on patient-centered care.
The Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) was created in 2006 and is composed of employers, primary care physician associations, health benefits companies, trade associations, as well as other healthcare related industries and organizations. The PCPCC was founded in 2006 with the goals of improving the patient-doctor relationship and creating a more effective healthcare delivery system. With tens of thousands of members, committees, sub-committees and task forces the PCPCC achievement of their goals is like an ocean liner making a u-turn – they may (hopefully) change the direction of healthcare, but it will take a long time before seeing results.
An alternate approach is the Planetree model. This comprehensive model of patient-centered care began as a grass-roots organization in 1978 and focuses on healing and nurturing the body, mind and spirit. The Planetree model examines the health care experience from the patient’s perspective. What does the patient see, hear, feel, taste and smell when they enter a facility? The colors and the artwork on the walls, the sounds heard immediately after surgery and providing hospital gowns that are warm, comfortable and modest are all taken into consideration. Although some facilities have taken on massive renovations in order to incorporate the recommendations, many of the changes involve little to no cost at all. Providing ear plugs and eye masks at night to allow for more restful sleep, having patients waken after surgery hearing healing or soothing music from an mp3 player and using aromatherapy scents specific to a patient’s need or request are just a few of the simple recommendations that patients claim make a big impact. With over 125 member hospitals globally, Planetree is comparably like a small pleasure boat – it changes course quickly, but it will likely take a long time before seeing results.
One patient-centered model is attempting massive changes across the entire healthcare industry while the other is challenging individual facilities to implement changes that patients can experience almost immediately. As evidenced from the inception date of both of these organizations, reaching a critical mass on healthcare changes will take a very long time. We can only hope that at some point these and similar models as will be able to stay on course and end up at a place where the patient is truly the focus.
Molly Risak is the creator of Oopsie Daisies – a unique line of hospital gowns and apparel. She is passionate about empowering patients with knowledge and taking responsibility for their own health.