Nursing

How Vanderbilt delivers authentic patient-centered care

Nurse Leader Insider, December 17, 2015

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Jennifer Thew, RN, for HealthLeaders Media

I once had a manager who declared that, "taking it to the next level," was our new departmental goal. When I asked for specifics on what the effort would entail, I was met with a deer-in-the-headlights look.

We use clichés, and their shorter, snappier cousin the buzzword, because making vague generalizations is quicker and easier than the laborious process of fleshing out the specifics of big concepts.

Take, for example, the idea of patient-centered care, which the Institute of Medicine defined in its 2001 report, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, as being "respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions."

Many organizations boast that they follow patient-centered care models, but as the authors of this 2011 piece from the Annals of Family Medicine point out, what some call patient-centered care is really just the addition of hospitality industry amenities such as designer wallpaper, complimentary manicures, and eye-catching lobbies.

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