As discussed in this chapter, neither patients nor clinicians can perform their tasks alone. While clinicians supply their scientific expertise on the benefits and risks of different options, patients contribute their knowledge about the suitability of different options for their needs, goals, and circumstances. Both are necessary to providing the right care. Given that patient-centered care is not simply agreeing to every patient request, many tools are needed to communicate information, create partnerships, and improve decision-making models (Maurer et al., 2012). Further, involving patients meaningfully at the organizational and system levels requires changes in organizational structures and measurement tools and an expanded focus on the patient in all aspects of care. Recommendation 4 highlights the broad aims that different stakeholder groups need to pursue if health care’s focus on patients is to increase.
Recommendation 4: Patient-Centered Care
Involve patients and families in decisions regarding health and health care, tailored to fit their preferences. Patients and families should be given the opportunity to be fully engaged participants at all levels, including individual care decisions, health system learning and improvement activities, and community-based interventions to promote health.
Strategies for progress toward this goal:
4Note that in Chapters 6-9, the committee’s recommendations are numbered according to their sequence in the taxonomy in Chapter 10.