A study from the University of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that “patients’ health outcomes improve when physicians individualize care and take their patients’ life circumstances into account.”
The study was meant to help determine how patient care outcomes were affected by patient-centered decision making. This refers healthcare professionals paying attention to a mix of a patient’s clinical information, circumstances, and their behavioral patterns.
According to the Studer Group, “Individualized patient care (IPC) is part of a patient care model that addresses this challenge by simply asking the patient what is most important to them.”
An example of this would be noticing a pattern of a patient consistently missing appointments. The way that patient receives care might be different for someone who is always on time for appointments. Other contextual factors that are taken into consideration when trying to offer individualized patient care at a facility are financial challenges, transportation issues, and a patient’s support system.
Many healthcare professionals miss these contextual factors, and base a patient’s healthcare plan solely on the challenges and illnesses they are dealing with, but they neglect other, more personal factors, such as financial, mental, emotional, and familial concerns.
Moving Towards Individualized Patient Care at Your Healthcare Facility
One way healthcare facilities can train healthcare professionals to recognize contextual factors is to host workshops at the facility. These workshops help healthcare professionals like Allied health professionals, travel nurses, foreign-educated healthcare professionals, and physicians to respond to these contextual clues.
Important Examples of Contextual Clues
In one study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, students were exposed to four different patient cases. In one case, a patient hard worsening asthma. While the initial response might be to increase the inhaler dose for the patient, the students who were able to recognize contextual factors were better able to treat the patient.
The contextual clue that stood out to some of the students was that the patient was facing financial hardship, thus it might be difficult for them to afford their medication. This might result in the patient not using his or her medication correctly, and thus increasing the inhaler dose would not be a viable solution.
ICP is a set of skills that can be taught to healthcare professionals without affecting their ability as a nurse, Allied health professional, physician, or therapist. For more information on ICP and building effective workshops, click here.
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