Reimagining the Person-Centered Care Checklist

by / Friday, 22 July 2022 / Published in Tools


Can a checklist save lives? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Checklists are a proven tool for improving clinical quality and patient safety; establishing order, reliability, and efficiency in a healthcare setting. As a result, these types of aids, which break down a process into a series of reminders, have emerged as a go-to intervention for improving healthcare. So how do you make a checklist person-centered? Let’s dive in!

Including PEOPLE in Process

Healthcare processes are fairly predictable, but human beings are not! So, while checklists are important due to the complexity of healthcare, they can also become a threat to person-centered care practices. A checklist may fill in the clinical answers, but to truly understand a patient’s unique experience, we cannot rely solely on the boxes. Vital information to patient care may be their lifestyle, preferences, or attitudes; none of which can be completely covered in a checklist. To unlock these vital pieces of information you must merge the checklist with trust, compassion, and active listening. Complete the process while communicating with empathy! And remember, the goal is not just to check the box, but to create a connection. Each field represents an important data point that will better enable you to personalize and humanize care.

Going Beyond the Boxes

Recently, a study was released uncovering that patients treated in primary care offices with a person-centered culture experienced better outcomes and were more engaged than those in a care setting that followed a checklist of patient-engaged care practices. Office culture proved to be a more powerful driver of successful outcomes than the number of activities or tasks undertaken to promote patient engagement. In other words, tasks, or checkboxes, don’t create the experience – the culture is the driver. This culture of caring is proven to deliver better clinical outcomes, healthier communities, more engaged staff, and higher value care.

Combining Checklists with Caring

A bridge exists between the processes, practices, and tasks included in a checklist, and the attitudes and intentions discovered from caring communication. This combination of process and empathy is what helps organizations around the world deliver person-centered care. So how do you get there? By following the criteria designed to build a culture of caring – a culture that is reflected not only in what an individual does, but how they do it.

To discover the 26-Criteria driving Person-Centered Excellence contact Planetree today.

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