Improving healthcare: new resource on person centred care from the BMJ and DNV GL

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A new publication on person centred care, co-produced by the BMJ and DNV GL, sets out the challenges we all face in the pursuit of quality care and the impact of combining systems thinking with person centred care.

Healthcare faces serious threats to its sustainability. Ageing populations, the rise of co-morbid chronic conditions, an unenviable safety record and the impact of austerity collectively mean that health systems around the world have to change if they are to achieve improved well-being for individuals and populations.

Such change is possible if we join the power of systems thinking with the engagement of service users as equal and active partners alongside practitioners, provider organisations and policy makers. This is the message of the new publication on person centred care from the BMJ and DNV GL.

Writing in an editorial, Tessa Richards (senior editor, patient partnership, BMJ) and associates note that “We must harness the energy, insight, and expertise of patients, carers, and the communities that support them to help drive change”. Karen Luxford and Stephanie Newell (both from the Clinical Excellence Commission, Australia) identify that there is strong evidence that engaging patients as partners in system and strategic change is positively associated with improved “… patient experience, clinical outcomes, and the use of resources …”

Building on this growing evidence-base, Dave deBronkart (co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, USA), known around the world as ‘epatientdave’, calls on healthcare to “… let patients help improve care [and] share responsibility …” in system design.

DNV GL has over 150 years of experience in working in highly complex quality critical sectors and is in a unique position to help healthcare take the learning from systems thinking and apply it to deliver safer, smarter and sustainable person centred care.

Stephen Leyshon (deputy director of healthcare, Strategic Research and Innovation, DNV GL) and Stephen McAdam (technical director of healthcare, Business Assurance, DNV GL) writing in the publication alongside world renowned experts in the field, argue that systems thinking, with its focus on creating positive cultures and processes, offers a practical framework for change that “… enables local practitioners, providers, policy makers, and service users a way to map and tackle risks to quality care distributed along the patient journey”.

The co-production of this publication in the BMJ, one of the most respected and widely read medical journals, reinforces DNV GL’s commitment to and expertise in systems thinking and person centred care.

DNV GL will continue to support the science of quality improvement through its work and applied research into systems thinking. We are a proud sponsor of the BMJ IHI’s annual International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare and invite you to join us in London on the 21st to the 24th of April 2015, where we will deliver seminars on risk, person centred care and systems approaches to healthcare quality improvement.

A copy of the BMJ – DNV GL publication is available here.

To learn more about our work on co-creating safer, smarter person centred care visit here.

To discuss opportunities linked to DNV GL’s healthcare accreditation and systems thinking, please contact Stephen McAdam (technical director of healthcare, Business Assurance, DNV GL) via stephen.mcadam@dnvgl.com. To discuss opportunities linked to DNV GL’s research in person centred care, please contact Stephen Leyshon (deputy director of healthcare, Strategic Research & Innovation, DNV GL) via stephen.leyshon@dnvgl.com.