Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 20(1) April 2017 : 50-56.doi:10.12927/hcq.2017.25136
Engaging Patients and their Families

Patient-Centred Care in Canada: Key Components and the Path Forward

Terrence Montague, Amédé Gogovor, John Aylen, Lisa Ashley, Sara Ahmed, Lesli Martin, Bonnie Cochrane, Owen Adams and Joanna Nemis-White


Canadians' health and its care continue to evolve. Chronic diseases affect more than 50% of our aging population, but the majority of public and professional stakeholders retain a sense of care quality. An emergent issue, however, is generating an increasingly wide debate. It is the concept of patient-centred care, including its definition of key components, and efficacy. To advance the evidence base, the 2013–2014 and 2016 Health Care in Canada (HCIC) surveys measured pan-stakeholder levels of support and implementation priorities for frequently proposed components of patient centricity in healthcare. The public's highest rated component was timely access to care, followed by perceived respect and caring in its delivery, with decisions made in partnership among patients and professional providers, and within a basic belief that care should be based on patients' needs versus their ability to pay. Health professionals' levels of support for key components largely overlapped the public's levels of support for key components, with an additional accent on care influenced by an evidence base and expert opinion. In terms of priority to actually implement enhanced patient-centred care options, timely access was universally dominant among all stakeholders. Caring, respectful care, also retained high implementation priority among both the public and professionals, as did care decisions made in partnership, and, among professionals, care driven by research and expert opinion. Low priorities, for both the public and professionals, were the actual measurements of patient-centred care delivery and its impact on outcomes. In summary, there is remarkable concordance among all stakeholders in terms of favoured interventions to enhance patient-centred care, namely, timely access, caring, partnering and communicative delivery of evidence-based care. Unfortunately, the lack of contemporary imperative around the value of measuring and reporting actual use and outcomes of favoured interventions means uncertainty of their efficacy will persist for the foreseeable future. Things can be better.



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