The manner in which hospitals traditionally deliver health care services typically involves a treatment model where the patient is a passive receiver of information from their provider. According to this system, doctors, nurses and other members of a healthcare team make a diagnosis and provide their patients with instructions on how to treat their condition without the patient having much input.

This conventional way of delivering care is one that is no longer practiced at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Instead, the hospital has adopted a philosophy of person-centered care. This model focuses on the patient’s (as well as their family’s) cooperation and active participation in their treatment plan and encourages them to manage their own care.

This new way of delivering care is now being offered at Jamaica Hospital on all levels, including our outpatient clinics, our emergency department and on our inpatient units.

Rather than the conventional way of making medical recommendations from health professionals to a patient, the person-centered care model empowers the patient and gives them a voice. Patients are now encouraged to speak up and offer input as a partner in their treatment plan while doctors and nurses listen. This patient feedback will help Jamaica Hospital’s healthcare team better understand our patients’ unique needs, such as their abilities, resources, cultural or religious preferences and personal wishes.

In addition to encouraging patient activity, another major component of the person-centered care model is reinforcing all of our employees to approach our patients with dignity, compassion and respect. By viewing our patients in a holistic manner rather than simply focusing on their condition will improve the quality of care Jamaica Hospital provides.

There are many benefits to implementing a person-centered care model. Studies have indicated that patients who are active participants in their care, often have better outcomes and live healthier lifestyles. Other proven benefits to incorporating a person-centered care model include:

  • Higher quality of care
  • Lower readmission rates
  • Shorter lengths of stay
  • Improved relationship with patients

One of the ways Jamaica Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to person-centered care is through our partnership with Planetree International, a non-profit organization that facilitates person-centered care in a healing environment. Jamaica Hospital was one of only 12 hospitals chosen to be part of a two-year collaboration with Planetree to help us achieve the highest levels of person-centered care. As part of this partnership, Planetree will help Jamaica Hospital develop, implement, and maintain a wide level of person-centered care strategies.

Some of the person-centered approach examples already being implemented at Jamaica Hospital include the creation of a Patient and Family Advisory Council, where former patients can provide both positive feedback and constructive criticism on how Jamaica Hospital delivers care as well as the implementation of bi-directional communication boards to give our patients the opportunity to express their wishes and concerns with the hospital’s healthcare team.

Jamaica Hospital believes that these person-centered approach examples, as well as others will further our goal of providing the highest quality care to our patients.