Patient-centricity has been a key topic within health systems, giving way to bringing in patients in the decision-making, planning, development, and monitoring of their care. It empowers individuals to take charge of their own health rather than being passive recipients of services. It consists in asking about what matters to patients, providers, organisations, and systems but always ensuring that patients are the final judges of value. Rather than just being empowered, patients co-create and co-deliver their care according to their own wants and needs. Moving beyond individuals seeking healthcare, there is the concept of ‘people-centredness’ which focuses on population empowerment, as well as social services and broader health determinants.  

People-centred care: care that is focused and organized around the health needs and expectations of people and communities rather than on diseases. People-centred care extends the concept of patient-centred care to individuals, families, communities and society. Whereas patient-centred care is commonly understood as focusing on the individual seeking care — the patient — people-centred care encompasses these clinical encounters and also includes attention to the health of people in their communities and their crucial role in shaping health policy and health services.‘ – World Health Organisation

It is non-negligible that there are debates around the implications of these concepts in the care setting, in addition to the concepts of person-centredness, family-centredness, personalised care, and even user-centred care. Ultimately as health managers and leaders, the focus remains on different models, strategies and processes to ensure that people (including health service users and their support systems, as well as providers) are the priority when discussing value, developing new technologies, and analysing holistic health and integrated care needs. Some questions to be answered when discussing this topic are on how to manage the paradigm shift to people-centred care; what the strategies are to balance evidence-based healthcare management and patient preferences; how managers can further support multi-stakeholder partnerships (including with patients); and what is needed at the policy level to enable the necessary framework to support this change. 

Patient engagement, supporting providers, and facilitating their collaboration at different levels of the health continuum has been a key focus at the EHMA Annual Conference over the past years. Have you carried out research that furthers the concept of people-centeredness? Would you be interested in sharing your results with the health management community? Then don’t forget to submit your abstract before Friday, 4 March at 17:00 CET. You will find all the relevant information for the call of abstracts here.