Patient‐centred care has been the holy grail of healthcare systems for at least 30 years. The vision was of motivated and informed patients involved and consulted on their healthcare, actively participating in choosing from the services offered and interventions available. However, progress towards this vision has been slow and erratic, and health systems and professionals have not only struggled to articulate how such a vision could be made to work, but also how it could be sustainably implemented. Despite these difficulties, many advances have been made and today patients are better informed and more involved in their care, and the clinical decision‐making processes of their healthcare providers. There are many examples of good holistic patient centred‐care systems. However, Nirvana remains elusive, and most western healthcare systems still deliver care largely from a provider‐centric perspective. For much of their journey through the healthcare system, patients are still passive consumers/recipients of interventions. In previous decades, health professionals were often perceived as, and accused of, being egocentric, paternalistic and even patronising towards their patients. It was felt that the health professional was the expert in a very complex area of science that was beyond the comprehension or capability of most patients
Internal Medicine Journal – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2015
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