Doctor on blurred background using digit


Helping to improve patient-centered care

What is patient-centered care?

Patient-centered care is health care that establishes a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families to ensure that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.

The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations notes that “the essence of patient-centered healthcare is that the healthcare system is designed and delivered to address the healthcare needs and preferences of patients so that healthcare is appropriate and cost-effective.”

Over the past decade, there has been a growing trend toward using a patient-centered approach to healthcare and healthcare delivery. Studies have shown this can help people communicate more effectively with their healthcare team, and participate in making decisions about their medical care.  

Patient-centered care includes individual preferences and needs, addresses things that people notice and care about such as symptoms, how well they can carry out day to day activities, how their illness and treatment affects their overall quality of life, and includes the patient's voice when understanding the value of different health care options.