Perspectives from ISB

Patient centricity is an attitude, strategy, mission, and value system that needs to be incorporated into the promotor’s cultural DNA. It should flow as a top-down culture. The CEO/promotor’s vision should include patient-centricity for the organisation to be able to deliver this promise. AMPH Co 2022 students Anupama Srikonda and Dr. Swati Jha invited experts and industry leaders to share their opinions and insights on patient centricity in the AMPH Discussion Circle hosted by the Max Institute of Healthcare Management.

Key insights from the discussion

  • Eight dimensions by the Picker Institute: 1) respect for the patient’s values, preferences, and expressed needs; 2) information and education; 3) access to care; 4) emotional support to relieve fear and anxiety; 5) involvement of family and friends; 6) continuity and secure transition between health care settings; 7) physical comfort; and 8) coordination of care.
  • Patient-centricity enables the caregiver to be an agent of the patient, increasing comfort and trust and enhancing the quality of care. Patients should be involved in decision-making ideally much earlier than when actual care is required.
  • Getting the patient involved in every step prevents mistrust and lack of agency that the patient feels today. Patient support/ advocacy groups need to spill over from being an essential feature of chronic, life-threatening diseases to general patient care too, in order to begin providing patient-centric care.
  • Patient centricity begins when all the healthcare staff, from the doctor to the support staff put themselves in the patient’s shoes and imagine what a comfortable healthcare delivery system would look like, and work accordingly.
  • Patient journey mapping, patient empathy mapping, and fishbone analysis are all tools that provide us with better insights to design better patient-centric care.
  • Technology aids patient-centric care by enabling it to be more personalized and more informed by the patient’s clinical history.
  • Patient-centricity applies to the entire industry, from hospitals to general physician’s offices, to insurance, and even pharmaceuticals. Genomic profiling by the pharma industry, insurers researching SODH, and addressing them proactively are both best examples outside hospitals.
  • Adopting patient-centricity actually reduces costs as patient compliance to treatment improves due to trust gained, improves healthcare outcomes, and decreases re-hospitalization rates. Objective measurement of patient centricity shows its association with improved quality of care and hence cost savings.
  • The patient’s role as a driver and receiver of care depends mainly on the individual’s ability to pay, at least in our country where resources fall far short of need. Private healthcare providers are directly accountable and answerable to the patient and thus may take into account the aspects of patient-centricity. But public providers provide paternalistic care in their day-to-day healthcare delivery and holistic patient-centricity is a distant dream.

Patient centricity is not an easy endeavour; there are numerous, layered implications to consider and account for, i.e. culture of the organisation, technology, costs of implementation, etc. but the overall value of healthcare we deliver increases exponentially when provided in a patient-centric fashion making it worth everyone’s while.

Moderated by the students of AMPH Co 2022, the Max Institute of Healthcare Management hosts the AMPH Discussion Circle on the third Sunday of every month on its LinkedIn page. Click here to go to this discussion thread.