Person-Centered Care

May 30, 2018

Making patients the center of their medical treatment will be the focus of a conference this week at Saint Ambrose University. It'll be hosted by SAU's Institute for Person-Centered Care. 

The founder of the institute, Tom Higgins, says health care in the US now is centered around the providers of care and those who pay for it. He thinks it would be much more efficent to emphasize the needs of the patient.

"The example I like to use is somebody who my be living by themselves, with a chronic condition, making many, repeated visits to the E.R. when an underlying condition like depression is really the issue but it's not getting the focus or getting treated."

He works with various health care providers, such as hospitals and visiting nurses, trying to get them to focus on the person and coordinate their care.

Melissa Sharer is director of the Master's of Public Health Program at Saint Ambrose. She says their goal is for health care providers to use what she calls a "holistic approach" with the patient at the center. 

"We're not asking the client for his or her opinion enough. He or she is not part of the care plan enough. So it's like making it part of our dna."

More than 100 people from a variety of hospitals, clinics, and agencies have registered for the conference on Person-Centered Care. It'll be held at Saint Ambrose Thursday and Friday.