COLLABORATION. Most care organizations in Sweden prioritize patient involvement as a way of basing care on the patient’s needs, resources and prerequisites. But how can we know is this is being done and how can organizations attain this goal? For the first time, the European Union has established minimum requirements for patient involvement in person-centered care, which the Swedish Institute for Standards has helped develop on the initiative of the Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC) at the University of Gothenburg.
“The goal is more efficient care by involving patients more in their own health and medical care. This will help both patients and staff to feel better,” says Karl Swedberg, senior professor of cardiology and care science, scientific advisor at GPCC and chair of the Swedish standardization committee.
Just over four years ago, the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS) began working on standard for patient involvement in person-centered care on the initiative of the GPCC at the University of Gothenburg and together with 23 experts from 16 organizations representing health care, academia, regions, patient organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. This work then evolved into a European project involving representatives from 10 countries.
“At GPCC, we have evaluated the results of a person-centered approach in a number of studies in different types of health and medical care. We have been able to see cost savings and positive results for patients and staff, but until now there has been no standard to rely on, so it was time to establish one. For person-centered care to have a uniform application in health and medical care, we need a clear definition of what needs to be done,” says Swedberg.
“The standard is available free of charge on the SIS website, which encourages its use, particularly for patients as a way of empowering them in their own care,” says Kristofer Petraeus, SIS project manager.
Using the standard
The standard can be used as an aid for planning, managing, implementing and systematically evaluating daily activities and to enable patients to manage their daily lives and empower them in the care process. It can also support patient involvement at the system level and ensure that the patient perspective is included in developing, implementing and evaluating services, research and policies in health and medical care.
Facts about person-centered care
In person-centered care, patients are seen as individuals who are more than their illness. Person-centered care is based on a partnership between patients and those working in health and medical care. The starting point involves listening to the patient’s narrative. This narrative is used to identify the person’s situation, resources and obstacles, which are used along with other examinations to write a personal health plan together with the patient. All health and medical care, other care and rehabilitation can be person-centered. (Source GPCC)
For more information
- The Swedish version of the standard is available here free of charge through support from the Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC): SS-EN 17398 Patient involvement in health care – Minimum requirements for person-centred care.
- Swedish Committee on Patient Involvement in Person-centred Care
- Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC) at the University of Gothenburg
TEXT: EVA HÖGSTRÖM, SWEDISH INSTITUTE FOR STANDARDS