The Heart of the Matter

In healthcare we consider our patients our heart, similar to where the human heart is located it encompasses the center of our vocation. As a patient (been there, done that) way back I reversed role and became the receiver of compassionate care from colleagues which mattered most in my journey to healing.

In an article published last March 1, 2012 from the New England of Journal of Medicine, authored by Dr. Michael Barry, the Picker Institute coined the term “patient-centered care” to define what it is, how it should be along with the factors that characterizes it namely- respect for patients’ values; clear and quality information and education for the patient and family; emotional support; continuity including through care-site transitions; physical comfort including pain management; coordinated and integrated care; access to care and lastly, involvement of family and friends as appropriate. The Institute of Medicine defines patient-centered care as “care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and that ensures “that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” Truly defining of patient-centric care. Also puts much emphasis on the fact that active patients mean engaged patients, same applies with us, healthcare professionals.

Cited at the Journal of Ambulatory Care, way back 1999, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement began its program for the Idealized Design of Clinical Office Practice (IDCOP) and within it, the patient-provider interaction was placed at the “heart of care” (Kilo & Endsley, 2000) thus the title of our tweet chat for this week with the following points:

  • T1- How do you define patient-centered care in today’s times?
  • T2- How do we achieve both maximizing the healthcare team and balancing patients’ needs at the same time? Is this possible?
  • T3- As a HCP and/or patient, what can you personally contribute to achieve a patient-centered environment?

To our colleagues and patients please join us for another #HealthXPh chat on Saturday July 5 at 9 pm MLA time/9 am EST. Together we form one voice in defining patient-centered care and most of all walk the talk moving forward! See you! Happy 4th of July!


1. Shared Decision Making- The Pinnacle of Patient-Centered Care by Michael J. Barry MD and Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA; The New England Journal of Medicine, March 2012; 366: 780-781
2- Making High-Quality, Patient-Centered Care a Reality by Marie Schall, MA; Cory Sevin, MSN, RN, NP; John H. Wasson, MD; J. Ambulatory Care Manage Volume 32, Number 1, pp. 3-7