Beyond the platitudes: Thorny challenges in delivering patient-centered care.


Michael J. Fisch, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAHPM

Blog post by Dr. Michael Fisch

The phrase “patient-centered care” is ubiquitous in discussions of healthcare delivery. There are innumerable conceptual models for patient-centered care and even a research institute named the “Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI,” authorized by Congress to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions. The idea, not surprisingly, is central to the profession of medicine. As a medical student, I received a small booklet with a reprint of the classic essay (JAMA 1927;88:877-882), taken from a speech to medical students by Francis Weld Peabody, which included this iconic line:

…the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.

The hard part about patient-centered care, however, is simply this: that it is patient-centered. Beyond the platitudes, there are daily challenges in actually accomplishing…

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