Person-centered care and evidence-based research are valuable practices that increasingly supplement traditional care delivery. Person-centered care strives to include patients, families, and caregivers in their care process, focusing on what is most important to the patient in the clinical setting. Similarly, evidence-based research strives to investigate what is most important to patients, caregivers, and communities, often producing valuable findings for providers.
Historically, these two areas have not always been well integrated in the hospital setting. However, when combined, a person-centered care model and evidence-based research can help a hospital improve the patient experience, creating the potential for increased patient satisfaction scores and patient retention rates.
It is critical for essential hospitals — the primary care providers for vulnerable populations — to engage in research and strive to create a person-centered culture to deliver the best care to their patients. These patient populations may require special considerations for their care because of lower socioeconomic status and multiple chronic conditions. Additionally, these populations often are underrepresented in research, making it difficult for patients to access information that pertains to their situation.
With funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Essential Hospitals Institute developed a road map to help hospitals overcome barriers to implementing person-centered care and evidence-based research, using these strategies:
- Establish a Person-Centered Culture: Review organizational priorities; implement systemwide training; identify and foster champions; and establish patient and family advisory councils.
- Participate in Evidence-Based Research: Serve as a community research anchor; leverage research collaboratives; and build a foundation to conduct research.
- Integrate Person-Centered Care and Evidence-Based Research into Everyday Practice: Foster shared decision making through person-centered care; create workflows to incorporate evidence into clinical visits; and use decision-making tools with patients and caregivers.
In addition to these strategies, the road map includes a value proposition to help articulate the need for person-centered care and evidence-based research, as well as specific examples from essential hospital members implementing this work.
The Institute thanks PCORI for financially supporting this work and acknowledges the contributions of advisory group members; experts who shared insight; and survey, interview, and stakeholder summit participants.