To build a strong working relationship with your patients, put their needs at the center of the care you are providing. All too often, we want our patients to change their lives to meet the needs of our clinic. It should be the other way around. Let’s take a look at a diagram that shows you what patient-centered care looks like.
“Patient-centered care” is high-quality care that meets patients’ needs. For care to meet patients’ needs, patients must be able to choose what they want. This means shared decision-making by patients and the care team. To make choices, patients need to understand their disease and its treatment. This means that it is not enough to just give care. A huge part of our job as healthcare professionals is to help patients learn how to be active partners in their care.
In this diagram, you can see that the PCT, nurse, doctor, and other healthcare professionals all point to the patient at the center. Using this approach, a doctor could not bypass the patient and give the nurse an order. He or she would need to talk with the patient first.
Often in a dialysis clinic, the care team gets so busy doing their jobs that they forget to ask patients for their input. The patient’s point of view may not be valued. As a PCT, you are in a unique position to speak to your patients and share their goals and needs with other members of their team. You can help make sure that their input counts.