The healthcare model is getting a facelift. Healthcare providers are shifting from having a tunnel vision focus on medical conditions in favor of focusing on the person as a whole.

At the heart of patient-centered care is understanding, respecting, and accommodating patients’ values and preferences. This article provides a deeper understanding of the patient-centered care model and how hospitals, caregivers, doctors, and medical personnel can implement it to meet their patients’ evolving needs.  

Understanding Patient-Centered Care

The concept of patient-centered care isn’t exactly new, and references to the term date back to the 1950s. But, what exactly is patient-centered care, and why is it important?

Patient-centered care is a healthcare approach that prioritizes the specific needs, preferences, and values of patients. It involves active collaboration between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that clinical decisions and care plans are tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances, promoting their overall well-being and satisfaction.

Though this approach might seem like a common sense approach to medicine, it is in stark contrast to traditional care models, which focus specifically on standardized assessments and treatment modalities. Patient-centered care focuses on the individual needs of the patient, and takes into account cultural traditions and patient values, allowing people to be active participants in their own care.

From an evidence-based practice standpoint, empowering patients and putting them in control establishes more trust between a patient and their care team, and ultimately improves patient health. It is also believed that as patients and family members become more involved in shared decision-making and evaluating treatment options, patient satisfaction will continue to improve.

Key Elements of Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care is a holistic care model that creates a collaborative partnership between the individual patient, the care team, and even family members. It ensures that patients feel involved and are active participants in making clinical decisions about the best form of treatment for a condition or illness, as well as preventive care.   

 The core elements of patient-centered care include:

  • Respect for individual patient preferences: Patient-centered care prioritizes providing care that is custom to the individual patient. It acknowledges a patient’s preferences, values, and social needs, while involving families in decision-making, finances, and scheduling.
  • Emotional and social support: This model of patient care is about more than just diagnosing and administering treatment. There’s also a significant mental health component involved. Research shows that Millennials and Gen Z are experiencing higher levels of anxiety around scheduling medical appointments. Providing patient-centered care requires that care teams take not only the physical comfort of a patient into account but also their emotional well-being.
  • Involvement of family: Involving family members in care decisions is another important pillar of patient-centered care. Because family members are critical parts of a patient’s support network, it makes sense that they would participate in making informed decisions about treatment plans that will best benefit their loved ones.


As technology has progressed, it has become a major facilitator that enables healthcare offices, hospitals, and nursing facilities to provide patient-centered care effortlessly.

For example, technology like Weave contains a full suite of solutions that support patient-centered care initiatives. Specifically, Weave provides online scheduling tools, appointment reminders, and bill pay solutions to allow patients to be in touch 24/7 and access services at their convenience.

Further, patient management systems have advanced features that keep information organized and accessible to the entire care team. Instead of a patient repeating themselves multiple times during a single office visit, each person on the care team, from physicians and nurses to administrative and support staff, can access the relevant patient info and provide quality, responsive, and respectful care.

These examples illustrate the power that technology can have in both elevating patient care and streamlining operations.


Benefits of Patient-Centered Care

At the heart of patient-centered care is the goal of achieving improved health outcomes and better patient satisfaction. This can be a massive benefit for healthcare providers from both an efficiency and patient loyalty standpoint.

Instead of a top-down approach in which physicians and nurses provide one-size-fits-all healthcare, individual patient preferences drive recommendations.

This individualized approach, in which patient values guide treatment plans, is better equipped to meet the specific needs of a patient. As a result, it can increase the likelihood of seeking treatment, adhering to doctor recommendations, and implementing self-care strategies.

In addition, when patients and family members feel heard, they are more likely to communicate openly and reveal critical information to develop effective, high-quality treatment. When a care plan provides better health outcomes, patients are likely to be more loyal, which can significantly increase the profitability of a medical practice.  

Patient loyalty isn’t the only benefit that patient-centered care yields for healthcare practices. When there is a collaborative relationship of shared decision-making between patients, families, and care teams that results in better health outcomes, the healthcare system and individual practices alike become more efficient.

For example, adhering to a treatment plan can reduce hospital readmissions. Further, patient-centered care encourages communication and collaboration that can be facilitated with the use of technology. This can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary visits and interventions, increase appointment show-up rates, and allow caregivers to focus on high-value tasks.


Patient-Centered Care in Practice

 There’s no limit to the way that patient-centered care can be put into practice in various health systems, starting from the initial assessment to ongoing preventive care and health maintenance.

 An example scenario could go something like this:

 A patient meets with their primary care physician to get treatment for multiple chronic conditions that are compromising their physical comfort. Physicians who practice patient-centered care would take their time to listen to the patient’s concerns, get a detailed picture of medical history, and discuss an achievable care plan.

From here, healthcare providers will provide the patient with education and resources to allow patients to take an active role in their treatment. At the forefront of a patient-centered care model is a focus on the patient needs and their physical and mental health. To ensure that health systems like the one described above are implemented properly, it takes both training and technology.

A system like Weave is instrumental for healthcare providers because it allows practices to maintain patient information, communications, and practice analytics all in one place. Analytical tools are also powerful to detect patterns, monitor health changes in patients, and even make note of cultural traditions and preferences in a patient file. Even better, access to this information can be readily available to providers across the healthcare practice.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Patient-Centered Care

One of the reasons that the traditional model of healthcare persisted is that it gets patients in and out the door quickly. This created an illusion of efficiency because it prevented patients from spending “too much” time with physicians and nursing staff.

Because limited time and resources are perceived challenges to implementing patient-centered care in medicine, it’s vital to be able to streamline administrative tasks and leverage technology to automate routine processes.

Systems like Weave are especially adept at this because the software is designed to prioritize patient-centered practices independent of time constraints. Further, the built-in scheduling, billing, texting, and forms tools make communicating with patients customized and effortless.

The Role of Technology in Patient-Centered Care

Technology solutions like Weave are integral to implementing patient-centered care effectively, particularly for seamless communication and data management. For example, when a patient calls an office, the patient’s record displays immediately on the receptionist’s computer screen. All of the important details regarding the patient will be accessible. From the moment patients are greeted on the phone by name, they will feel like a VIP.

Future of Patient-Centered Care

To thrive in the competitive healthcare field, medical practices must fully understand that patients are people. In other words, they don’t want to be treated like “just another number.”

Forward-thinking healthcare providers will prioritize making a personal connection with patients by adopting this care model. As patient values guide this process, medicine becomes more personalized. On the horizon are potential advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and patient-generated health data.

The moral of the story: physicians are no longer the star of the show; rather, they are supporting players in the patient’s health journey.    


Patient-centered care is becoming the norm, not the exception, in modern healthcare. To ensure that patient-centered care is implemented properly, it’s essential to have the right toolkit. This is where Weave comes in. To see what Weave can do, schedule a demo today.  


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