COPD insider

The 3 biggest balancing acts of patient-centric care

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Patient-centric care is considered by many to be the key to value-based outcomes,” 

Vernon Pertelle, RRT

President and CEO

StratiHealth

Management Consultant for ACOs

Pertelle believes that patient-centric care increases patient engagement, builds a mutual sense of trust, and improves continuity throughout the entire continuum of care. However, as COPD providers continue to embrace patient-centric care, they face the challenge of integrating new techniques into existing systems and strategies. Some elements of patient-centric care may even seem at odds with the comforts and methods of the status quo, making it tough to find the right balance.

 

But having to walk that tightrope shouldn’t deter you from implementing aspects of patient-centered care. Here are some tips to help you manage three of the most difficult balancing acts youre likely to encounter with patient-centric COPD care plans.

Contributors

Vernon Pertelle

Vernon Pertelle, RRT

President and CEO

StratiHealth

Management Consultant for ACOs

Pertelle believes that patient-centric care increases patient engagement, builds a mutual sense of trust, and improves continuity throughout the entire continuum of care. However, as COPD providers continue to embrace patient-centric care, they face the challenge of integrating new techniques into existing systems and strategies. Some elements of patient-centric care may even seem at odds with the comforts and methods of the status quo, making it tough to find the right balance.

 

But having to walk that tightrope shouldn’t deter you from implementing aspects of patient-centered care. Here are some tips to help you manage three of the most difficult balancing acts youre likely to encounter with patient-centric COPD care plans.

Number 1

Balancing a personalized approach with an evidence-based approach

Gear icon

The situation

As healthcare organizations move toward personalized medicine, it may seem as though data-centric, evidence-based models stand in the way. However, patient-centric care and evidence-based care are actually complementary. They can and should be used together to reduce COPD readmissions.

 

“Evidence-based medicine is important,” says Pertelle, “but what’s often lost in relying heavily on the evidence and relying heavily on data is the individual that you’re using the approach for—the patient. Coupled with that is, oftentimes the patient’s caregiver – or their spouse, their children, their aunts, their uncles – they often don’t really know what’s happening and don’t understand why. As a result, you have noncompliance and lack of engagement. The intended outcomes of using evidence are not always achieved.”

Target icon

The strategy

Engage the patient with a patient-centric approach and co-create a treatment plan to accommodate the patient’s unique situation. And make sure there’s a feedback system in place to measure the success of the treatment plan.

 

Pertelle explains: “The only person around for 100% of an individual’s care and appointments is the patient. Sometimes you have the family member there, but the only one that’s always there—the No. 1 common denominator—is the patient.”

Insider tip: Based on the results of the treatment and feedback from the patient, make adjustments as needed. 

One way to ensure you achieve the best possible balance is to look at baseline data in advance and then track outcomes. If the data shows positive results, there’s motivation to continue as is. But if the data projects something undesirable, there’s time to act on it and make a change. It’s a multi-stage process, and you want to remain nimble and open-minded at every step.

 

“It’s like if you’ve got a headache and you take Tylenol and it works, then keep using the Tylenol,” Pertelle says. “If it doesn’t work, then you need to shift and do something else.”

Number 2

Balancing patient experience with patient engagement

Gear icon

The situation

In the value-based care environment, patient satisfaction can be a significant driver of future business.

 

“If the patient has an overall good experience, they’re going to tell their family members, they’re going to tell their friends,” says Pertelle. “Conversely, if they have a bad experience, they’re going to do the same thing.”

 

Naturally you want to elevate the patient experience. But friendly staff members, shorter wait times, and flashy technology can only go so far.

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The strategy

To successfully practice patient-centric care, you need to do more than impress patients with friendly service or bells and whistles. You need to closely involve them in their treatment. Take the time to collaborate with your patients when making decisions about their COPD care.

 

Patients appreciate having their feelings and opinions incorporated into their treatment plans, and they tend to become more knowledgeable about their conditions as a result. Having access to their up-to-date medical records can also help patients stay on top of their COPD care plans and comply with treatment.

Patient-centric tools should enable the patient to access and control their own records. All health plans are now required to give you access to things like your lab results, physician messages and notes, etc. That’s all part of controlling the dialogue and making sure it’s consistent—so the patient knows exactly what they’re talking about when they go in and see a different provider.”

Vernon Pertelle, RRT

President and CEO

StratiHealth

Management Consultant for ACOs

Empowered patients who have positive experiences not only take more active roles in their care, but tend to respond better to treatment.

 

“Patients who report positive experiences have more trust in their providers, they’re less likely to switch physicians, they allow for more continuity of care and they’re more engaged,” says Pertelle. “On the technical side, patients simply respond better. For example, studies have shown that if a person has a heart attack and they’re treated in a hospital with a highly rated patient-centric care, they basically show fewer symptoms and are more likely to survive a year later. That’s because that treatment is designed specifically for that patient.”

Insider tip: Engage all COPD patients on a personal level. 

Don’t just talk. Listen. Strong interpersonal communication skills go a long way, and the time you spend getting to know your patient will prove worthwhile as they take on a more active role in their care.

 

“In order to get engagement from the individual, they have to feel like a person and not an object,” Pertelle says. “By collaborating and engaging with patients in the decision-making process, you empower them.”

Number 3

Balancing a personalized approach with an evidence-based approach

Gear icon

The situation

As healthcare organizations move toward personalized medicine, it may seem as though data-centric, evidence-based models stand in the way. However, patient-centric care and evidence-based care are actually complementary. They can and should be used together to reduce COPD readmissions.

 

“Evidence-based medicine is important,” says Pertelle, “but what’s often lost in relying heavily on the evidence and relying heavily on data is the individual that you’re using the approach for—the patient. Coupled with that is, oftentimes the patient’s caregiver – or their spouse, their children, their aunts, their uncles – they often don’t really know what’s happening and don’t understand why. As a result, you have noncompliance and lack of engagement. The intended outcomes of using evidence are not always achieved.”

Target icon

The strategy

Engage the patient with a patient-centric approach and co-create a treatment plan to accommodate the patient’s unique situation. And make sure there’s a feedback system in place to measure the success of the treatment plan.

 

Pertelle explains: “The only person around for 100% of an individual’s care and appointments is the patient. Sometimes you have the family member there, but the only one that’s always there—the No. 1 common denominator—is the patient.”

Insider tip: Based on the results of the treatment and feedback from the patient, make adjustments as needed. 

One way to ensure you achieve the best possible balance is to look at baseline data in advance and then track outcomes. If the data shows positive results, there’s motivation to continue as is. But if the data projects something undesirable, there’s time to act on it and make a change. It’s a multi-stage process, and you want to remain nimble and open-minded at every step.

 

“It’s like if you’ve got a headache and you take Tylenol and it works, then keep using the Tylenol,” Pertelle says. “If it doesn’t work, then you need to shift and do something else.”

The transitional pain is worth the gain

 

Focusing on the patient-centric method for your COPD care plans can feel like a difficult balancing act at times. But taking a calm, calculated approach to adjusting your care model will help you improve outcomes and reduce COPD readmissions. There may be some tense moments as you navigate the tightrope, but in the end, balancing the different aspects of patient-centric care will pay dividends.

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