What is a person-centred approach to health care?
When people are diagnosed with cancer, they have an illness that they and their health care team are trying to remedy. The physical illness is the focus of the health care team, but for the person with the disease, the impact is on his/her whole life.
The individual needs to be at the centre of the cancer care delivery system. However, seamless, well-integrated care is often not the experience of people with cancer or their families. The patient journey — from diagnosis through treatment, rehabilitation, recovery, survivorship, palliative and possibly end-of life care — requires a bridge to support seamless transitions and the effective flow of information. Advanced care planning, early referral, anticipating needs and appropriate triaging can support the person’s transitions from primary cancer treatment back into the community or, when necessary, into a hospice for end-of-life care. Critical to improving quality and the person’s experience is the routine measurement and reporting of that experience, as well as the adoption of validated, standardized, patient-centred tools and resources.
Person-centred care is one of the most critical elements in Canada’s cancer control strategy. As such, the Partnership is committed to exploring with partners across Canada, the most effective ways to embed a person-centred perspective throughout a person’s cancer journey.