Redesigning to be Patient & Family-Centered

I recently wrote down some guiding principles for redesigning patient-centered care delivery.  These patient-centered directives are taken from years of reading, hearing and seeing best practices and principles.  I’ve especially been influenced by the speeches and writings of Don Berwick and Bev Johnson.

Here they are:

  • “Don’t harm me”
  • “Don’t unnecessarily disrupt my time, my place, my money, my dignity, my privacy”
  • “Do comfort me and care about me while you care for me”
  • “Do keep me informed in real-time”
  • “Do include me in decision-making”
  • “Do help me manage my illness so I can be and feel healthier”
  • “Nothing for me without me”

Here are some systems-thinking principles to keep in mind:

  • Value streams are mapped through the eyes of the patient and family.
  • Processes are designed to maximize value for the patient and family (and community).
  • What we do is for the patient and family, and how we do it is also for the patient and family.
  • The system is designed with the patient and family as well as for the patient and family
  • The system anticipates the needs of the patient and family
  • The system is flexible and predictable in the eyes of the patient and family
  • The Voice of the Customer is used in every process improvement and redesign

You might recognize that there are 14 points here.  You also might recognize that half of them are directly from the voice of the patient (a lucky seven).  These are powerful and transformative principles when followed relentlessly and deliberately.  I’ve followed these principles to the best of my ability as a physician and a leader and they work.