A female pharmacist uses a cotton ball on a little girl's arm while administering an injection. The girl's mother holds her in her lap.
Industry updates and trends

What Is Patient-Centered Care?

May 9, 2024

As our knowledge of the human body and illnesses we can contract or develop expands, so does our understanding that being healthy is all about viewing health holistically. No one physician or medical professional has the expertise to treat every concern a patient might have, so why then is healthcare often siloed?

In order to combat siloes that can possibly lead to gaps in care, the concept of patient-centered care has become increasingly popular among doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. 

What exactly is patient-centered care? In this articl, we’ll tackle what it is, how it applies to pharmacists in particular, and what it means for the relationship between providers and pharmacists.

What Is Patient-Centered Care?

Patient-centered care is a form of delivering healthcare that stems from integrated care, which is a way to coordinate health services to better address a patient’s physical, mental, behavioral, and social needs.

Expanding upon that concept, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services defines patient-centered care as “integrated health care services delivered in a setting and manner that is responsive to individuals and their goals, values, and preferences, in a system that supports good provider-patient communication and empowers individuals receiving care and providers to make effective care plans together.”

To ensure that patient-centered care methods are effective, many physicians ask that: 

  • The healthcare provider at large is aligned with and can support patient-centered goals
  • Healthcare is delivered in a collaborative and easily accessible manner
  • The care provided prioritizes both physical and mental wellness and comfort
  • Patients’ families and support systems can also be involved in decisions, care plans, and structure of care
  • A patient’s values and living circumstances are respected and acknowledged 
  • Information is shared often, full context is given, and new developments are communicated in a timely manner

How Patient-Centered Care Involves Pharmacists 

Patient-centered care presents a fantastic opportunity for pharmacists to get more involved in patients’ treatment plans and give hands-on care. 

This is because patients’ plans may become much more detailed and rely on strict adherence or even feedback on their medication plans — all of which pharmacists can help facilitate. In addition, when pharmacists offer services like testing, adherence assistance, and certain clinics, they have the chance to work very closely with a patient's primary care physician to deliver services without the patient needing to always go to their PCP’s hospital or office location.

This level of added convenience can have huge upsides for adherence and the overall wellness of patients — and it also facilitates a cultural change around how patients view pharmacists and pharmacies. Under patient-centered care, pharmacies can become so much more than just where patients get prescriptions filled. 

Increasing Pharmacist-Provider Collaboration 

With patient-centered care, the phrase “it takes a village” truly applies. This means that the pharmacist-provider relationship has to evolve beyond “fill this prescription for patient xyz” and transform into something much more collaborative to reap the benefits of this style of healthcare.

Oftentimes, this means involving the pharmacist to give expertise on the right medication, dosage, and other factors before a prescription is even written. Once patients do begin the course of treatment, the pharmacist, physician, and patient should also collaborate closely to manage reactions, adjust dosage, and change course as needed to further the patient’s overall wellness.

A large of of ensuring that patient-centered care is effective lies in giving patients the tools they need to adhere to their treatment plans. Nimble can provide refill reminders and other digital healthcare tools to help patients on their wellness journey. If you’re curious to learn more, schedule a chat with our team, today.

See what’s next


Have an idea?

Have a suggestion for an article?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Want to be in the know?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.