Person-centred practice puts the person at the centre of everything we do.

It recognises that every patient is a unique and complex person. It respects their needs and preferences and the knowledge they bring about their health and healthcare needs.

Person-centred practice can minimise the functional decline of older people in hospital and help us tailor care to meet each person’s needs. It can result in decreased mortality, readmission rates and healthcare-acquired infections; improved functional status and increased patient and carer satisfaction.1

This topic gives an overview of person-centred practice and recommends actions that we and our organisations can take, in addition to health service policy and procedures, to provide quality person centred care to our older patients.

1. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards 2012: 23; Institute for Healthcare Improvement 2011: 6; Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care 2010: 15.

All Australian hospitals are being accredited under The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare’s (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Each of the ten standards relate to optimising clinical care and better outcomes for all patients. Evidence is increasingly supporting the link between effective partnerships, improved consumer experience and high quality health care. This topic specifically links to Partnering with Consumers (standard 2) but also highlights the need to approach the clinical issues older people face in hospital in a holistic and person-centred way in order to identify and respond to multiple modifiable risk factors throughout their stay. Doing this will improve our systems, clinical care and ultimately the outcomes for older people to prevent falls and harm from falls (standard 10) and improve medication safety (standard 4) and prevent and manage pressure injuries (standard 8).

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