Patient-orientation and the quality of hospital care:

rationale, assessment, impact

Addressing patient-centeredness is increasingly being acknowledged as an integral part of evaluating health care. Its importance is underlined by three main arguments.

First, from a medical ethics perspective patient-centeredness is an end in itself. It is justified by a rejection of the paradigm of paternalism and by the patients’ rights movement that established critical rights such as confidentiality and informed consent for therapeutic interventions.

Secondly, a substantial body of research demonstrates how patient-centeredness is associated with health gain, in particular through better medication adherence,

patient satisfaction and augmentation of tolerance for stress and pain levels, which affect patient recovery and health outcome.

Finally, patient-centeredness is a logical extension to management models applied in industry and service organizations, in which customer feedback is valued in the process of service design and improvement.

This talk will discuss these three arguments and present research findings to illustrate the assessment and impact of patient-centred care.

About the referee

Oliver Groene, Ph.D. is a lecturer in Health Services Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has profound long-term expertise in the field of health services research. His research focus is in particular in assessing and improving the quality of care and patient safety in hospital settings. His scientific background is in medical sociology and organizational sciences where he holds a Master degree from the University of Bielefeld, Germany.

He also holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Health Services Research and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Oliver Groene has been trained in quality management at the University of Bielefeld, Joint Commission International and Harvard School of Public Health.

Previous to his academic appointments he worked for seven years for the World Health Organization at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva and the WHO Regional Office for Europe (Copenhagen/Barcelona), where he was appointed as Programme Manager for the Quality of Health Systems and Services Programme. Furthermore, he is associate editor of BMC Health Services Research and editor of Clinical Health Promotion. He is also Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.