Personalized patient care (PPC), individualized patient care (IPC), customized patient care, and patient-centric care are different names for the same thing.
What is personalized patient care (PPC)?
This latest trend in the nursing industry refers to nursing care tailored to meet individual needs and preferences. IPC is a major service coming to society and is growing rapidly. PPC or IPC means patients and/or their relatives have choice and control over how nursing care is planned and delivered. It is based on ‘what matters‘ to patients and their individual needs and strengths.
The new nursing care system works with the expertise, potential and competence of nurses who deliver care to patients, people, families and communities for better outcomes and experiences. Patient-based healthcare is created based on the medical and other needs of the patient and available options.
Patient-centric care requires a holistic approach from the nurses and other professionals involved to address the patient’s need for physical as well as emotional wellbeing.
Each patient is unique and needs to be assessed for individuality, preferences, cultural traditions, spiritual beliefs and socioeconomic conditions with a holistic approach to planning and providing quality nursing care. The IPC plan should be developed to treat the patient, ensuring that psychological and social needs are met in addition to medical treatment.
IPC is based on a systems approach to patient care, in which nursing and allied services, including health, society, public health, doctors and other associated services, are integrated around the patients.
Identical to nursing care, individualistic care is available from maternity and childhood to the elderly. The growing number of elderly people and people living with chronic diseases or disabilities puts pressure on healthcare and social systems.
Facilities like music and art therapy, pet therapy, naturopathy, meditation rooms, natural light rooms, healing gardens and other supportive programs are created for patients and their families, and communities. These spaces provide positive energy, low levels of noise, comfortable furniture, cleanliness, privacy and space for family and visitors.
Personalized patient care offers many advantages, including the following:
- It improves patients’ health faster and reduces pressure on nursing services.
- Patients with multiple health conditions can make decisions about managing their health based on quality information from healthcare professionals.
- It combines different parts of the personalized care and support planning health system, including shared decision making and social and community-based support.
- It creates a soothing and comfortable environment that allows patients to heal with dignity and respect.
- It gives a sense of being cared for and homely feelings of comfort and calm.
IPC is considered one of the simplest and most effective techniques available to improve patient care today and is based on treating the patient as a ‘person’ rather than just as a patient. Trust between healthcare professionals and patients is crucial for IPC, allowing caregivers to address all issues effectively and provide quality treatment and care.
Patient-centric care in the hospital
Individualized patient care can be used in a variety of settings, including hospitals and clinics. The patient’s family and friends are an integral part of patient-centric care, and patients decide who can visit and when. Family members may also participate in planning discussions and decisions.
Concept of individualized patient care
As IPC delivers care and medical expertise, it is imperative that patient concerns and priorities are frequently assessed. But despite efforts, it is still common for patients to express concern that caregivers do not adequately listen to them.
IPC is a patient care model that is based on the delivery of nursing care and medical expertise with the patient in focus.
The most important aspect is free communication with patients, that is, listening to their feelings and expectations while telling the patients that they are treated as a person, not just as a patient. This creates trust between patients, physicians and nurses and decreases patients’ anxiety.
Communication with patients helps in understanding how to provide the best possible care for them. The nurse’s communication is highly correlated with the overall patient experience. Individualized patient care takes the patient’s preferences, fears and anxieties into account while preparing the care plan for a patient.
Key factors that determine patients’ satisfaction
In order to provide consistent quality care through IPC and ensure patient engagement, it is vital to identify and sincerely address all the patient’s concerns.
Many parameters are important from a patient’s point of view, including nurse communication, physician communication, responsiveness, treatment information, pain management, cleanliness, noise levels, instructions and knowledge.
Patient-centered care toolkit
The IPC approach gives people more choices and control in their lives, appropriate to their needs. It is built upon the strengths, resources and skills of the individual, the caretakers, the family, the community and the support network to empower all of them. It requires a whole system and team approach, with all stakeholders respecting the principles and processes of person-centered care.
Important tools for IPC include social prescribing, collaborative care and support planning, shared decision making and health coaching. Some person-centered care toolkits have been developed to support nurses, physicians and primary healthcare teams to plan and deliver IPC.
Key aspects of a person-centered care plan include:
- Personalized and integrated healthcare, social care and support.
- Involvement of family, friends, caretakers and community.
- Respect for personal values, preferences and identified needs.
- Level partnership between healthcare professionals and patients.
- Education and information.
One of the key factors in the IPC model is to be proactive rather than reactive. IPC improves harmony between the health professional and individuals, thereby improving health outcomes, working relationships and job satisfaction and ultimately reducing the demand for healthcare professionals.
Individualizing a patient’s care plan
In patient-centered care, health and social care professionals collaborate with service users. It is customized and tailored to the needs of the individuals involved ensuring that people are always treated with dignity, compassion and respect.
Individualizing a patient’s care plan means tailoring or customizing the IPC plan to meet the specific and general needs of the patient. It requires considering the patient’s medical history, current health condition, family and friends and preferences for treatment.
This customized and tailored individualized patient care plan is unique for each person because each person is different with distinctive desires and will respond differently in various situations. By spending time creating a customized care plan for each patient, it can ensure that the patient receives the best possible care.
The importance of nurses and nursing process in patient-centered care
No one has any doubts about the nursing profession and nurses. Nursing is a noble profession that positively affects patients and the people surrounding them. To deliver personalized care, nurses get into many additional roles and responsibilities.
It is critical for a nurse to determine the patient’s requirements precisely to provide IPC. This demands a major change in the nursing process as it becomes vital for the nurses to understand the patient’s needs to provide the best possible personalized care.
The nurse’s role in patient-centered care
Patient-centered nursing care provides an experience to the patients in which they feel it is for them, and they are heard, respected, involved and empowered in their own healthcare.
In patient-centered care, healthcare professionals advise, educate and support patients and help them make decisions about their individualized treatment and healthcare plans. In the process, nurses earn the respect and trust of patients, relatives and the community, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
In IPC, nurses and other healthcare teams support patient-centered care with a focus on a few important factors to consider the total wellbeing of the patient rather than focusing on only medical treatment for illness. These essential factors include culture, care, communication and collaboration.
Learning the fundamentals of patient-centered care
Many counties are currently experiencing a partial or major healthcare professional shortage. The demand for nurses has never been greater, especially for those who are educated in patient-centered care.
The demand for skilled and caring healthcare professionals continues to grow. In order to ensure that patient care is personalized and tailored to meet individual needs and preferences, nurses must learn the fundamentals of patient-centric care and advance their careers.
Specially designed online nursing career advancement programs are available based on the philosophy of patient-centric care. Those who want to become a nurse and fast track to a rewarding career can go for a fast track nursing program online, such as an accredited online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program from Marymount University.
It will empower them with all aspects of patient-centric nursing care philosophy and requirements. In just 16 months, nurses can move up in their professions and focus on individualized patient care specializations.
Online master’s in nursing practice programs are also available for holders of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or bachelor’s degrees in other fields. These are ways for nurses to earn a master’s degree and advance their qualifications, knowledge and career.
Practicing nurses can move towards individualized patient care by undergoing short-term courses, workshops or diplomas offered by the Personalized Care Institute or training centers to get trained for individualized patient care issues and requirements.
Other healthcare workers like allied health professionals and physicians also need to learn various aspects of personalized patient care and how to respond to these needs.
How can nurses ensure and deliver individualized patient care?
Delivering compassionate medical care is an essential part of any nurse’s job. But patient-centric, more personalized patient care that meets individual needs and preferences is the new challenge for nurses.
To improve patient health quickly and provide a pleasant experience, many healthcare professionals are using training services, workshops, and short-term courses to improve their knowledge of individualistic patient care. For nurses, here’s an overview of important aspects they should consider for providing great personalized patient care:
Currently, there is huge exposure to technology and information that have changed patient expectations. Patients want more personalized care, faster service, access to devices, treatment and medicines information, and connectivity with their nurses and physician for personalized experiences.
Patients want to be treated with courtesy and respect
Addressing a patient by name with a smile, being respectful, asking about their day, explaining steps you will take to find a solution to their problem, being specific, and talking with a pleasant, positive attitude all give a pleasing experience to the patient and family members.
Body language with eye contact adds value to nurses’ delivering individualized patient care.
Delivering personalized care
Patients in pain need and expect that the nurse fully understands their issues. This will make it easy for a nurse to deliver personalized patient care and achieve goals. Some helpful tips for nurses are:
- Listen carefully and patiently to what the patient wants to say.
- Be empathetic.
- Make the patient feel comfortable and cared for.
- Answer patients’ doubts and explain things in a way that is easy to understand.
- Explain their condition and what they could expect during the treatment.
- Provide them with authentic materials (brochures, fact sheets, videos, web resources) concerning their medical condition, treatment and medications.
- Work as partners with their informed families.
- Spend time with the patient and make a connection.
- Understand their needs like an extra blanket, pillow, bath, something to read or listen to, TV or Wi-Fi, etc.
- Soothe their anxiety and remove their fears.
With these tips in mind, nurses can succeed in delivering personalized patient care.
Build rapport with patients and families
Good rapport creates a close and harmonious relationship with patients. It allows the nurse to understand the patient’s feelings and communicate easily with them. It connects the nurse to the patient and improves patient care.
The importance of rapport cannot be understated in IPC nursing, and nurses must seek ways to build rapport with each patient. Of course, rapport building is a skill only learned through practice.
To become more effective in building rapport, nurses can keep a few pointers in mind, which include maintaining eye contact, showing empathy, having open communication, active listening, keep their word and knowing the patients enough to make the conversations personal.