We are facing a scenario of ever increasing health care costs. This is partly due to the fact that people live longer, albeit often with one or more long-term illnesses as a result. Health care today very effectively treats a multitude of solitary diseases, but lacks the over-all picture of the patient and his/her perspective, experiences, knowledge and participation. With person-centred care society’s resources can be used more effectively, as research has shown that it can reduce hospital stay, make patients feel less uncertain and reduce complications.
Person-centred care is a partnership between patients/carers and professional care givers. The starting point is the patient’s narrative, which is recorded in a structured manner. A mutual health plan is then created, based on the patient's narrative together with physical examinations and test results. This personal health plan incorporates goals and strategies for implementation and short and long term follow-up.
Person-centredness within care and medicine means that patients are persons who cannot be reduced to their illness. Person-centred care therefore takes the patients experience of their situation as its' starting point and emanates from the individual's resources and needs.
A fundament for person-centred care is that humans are, and should be treated as free and dignified beings. The characteristics and abilities which signify a person can be confirmed or ignored, reinforced or diminished by others. Person-centred care stresses that humans are free but mutually dependent. This is the basis for the partnership between the care giver and the patient, which can be expressed as a mutually formed rehabilitation or care plan. To listen to the patient’s narrative in a careful and structured way implies a means of becoming aware of the individual’s self expertise, abilities and obstacles to achieving good health.
1. The most central aspect of person-centred care is the partnership, which is centred on mutual respect of each other’s expertise. On the one hand the expertise of living with the condition; on the other hand the expertise of the condition generally.
2. The prerequisite for person-centred care is the patient narrative or story. The care giver must listen to and record this.
3. The third component of person-centred care is the documentation of an agreement in the patient journal in the shape of a care or health plan, based on both the patient's and the care giver's expertise, which guarantees that the mutually planned care is carried out as agreed.