Person-centered care is a well-established philosophy of care incorporating the needs and desires of each person. Providing person-centered care is dependent upon “knowing the person” as a unique, one-of-a-kind individual. This philosophy is not new and should not be a foreign concept for anyone working in healthcare, particularly long-term care. Elements were addressed as far back as 1987 in OBRA ’87 and in the work of Tom Kitwood who introduced the term in 1988.
Person-centered care is now a focus of the new regulations and those yet to come in 2019.
After decades of promoting and advancing person-centered care versus traditional care with a medical focus, organizations are now experiencing increased person-centered care survey citations. Nationally, experts and consultants report person-centered care citations are on the rise and in a Provider Magazinearticle shares the citations are occurring under numerous tags
While there are many thoughts, beliefs and definitions, person-centered care is far more than resident choice. Person-centered care is more than simply offering select dining or sleep schedules. The ultimate goal is to know the person – the human being and unique life story of each person for whom we care – in order to determine and provide for each individual that which makes life full and worth living.
So, what needs to be done to avoid citations and more importantly, provide the person-centered care our residents want and deserve?
Person-centered care does not happen by chance. It takes an organizational commitment, especially on the part of leadership, and an integrated approach. It is planned, strategic and purposeful. It requires a systematic approach to education and training, gathering personal information, a process for dissemination, ongoing communication, evaluation and the inclusion of all stakeholders – residents, families and staff.
While the monetary penalties are delayed for the time being, it will not stay that way. Can true person-centered care be provided? Yes, our experience and that of many organizations who have implemented systems and processes reap the benefits in resident, family and staff satisfaction, decreased challenging behaviors and use of antipsychotics, enhanced quality of care and life, and increased staff retention.
Our experience in assisting organizations has proven that staff want to provide person-centered care and that this philosophy enhances relationships with residents, families and employees, organization-wide.
Actions speak louder than words and while promoting person-centered care for decades, CMS and surveyors are now acting on it with increasing citations, indicating that they are serious.
You should be, too.