Key Principles of People-Centred Health

CAPCH measures our concepts of People-Centred healthcare by Four Key Principles common to truly people-centred health and wellness models.

1. Responsibility

People are responsible for their health and wellness.

A unique type of ownership sets the terms of People-Centred care: people own the realities of their personal health and wellness.

People-centred care ensures that each of us determines what affects our health and wellness, and we each decide what we need in terms of healthcare services; but there are times when this might be easier said than done. To that end, People-Centred healthcare respects empowerment – people can empower themselves, and be further empowered by healthcare professionals, to become true managers of their own health & wellness.

But we’re not naive. This requires commitment. Each individual can assist their own sense of wholeness by committing to improving or maintaining personal health through healthy living.

2. Autonomy

People make their own decisions regarding their personal health and wellness.

We don’t actually have one healthcare system in Canada; we have one for every individual citizen. Dozens of times during our waking hours we make decisions that affect our health, and not all of us make the same decisions. When we enter official healthcare that decision-making power shouldn’t change. Not all of us have the same notions of health or the same willingness to undergo treatments. In people-centred care, a person’s preferences for healthcare are respected. This principle recognizes people’s individuality.

In that respect, this principle also recognizes the individual’s authority. In people-centred care, people have the authority to manage any or all aspects of their health and wellness… including the right to delegate that authority to someone else.

Of course, all of this hinges on choice – in people-centred care, people have the right to understand all existing options for managing their health and wellness, and they have the right to choose among those options.

3. Informed Health Management

People can access the information needed to manage or make good decisions about their health and wellness.

This principle assumes that people own their Personal Health Information, which includes both Personal Health Records and information about the varying treatment options, and assumes that this information is clearly expressed and understandable by lay people. People also own their access to this information, and can dip into it at all times; but personal health information is private. Only the owner may authorize the sharing of it, and the owner may authorize sharing it with whomever they choose.

4. Partnership

People and health care providers form a partnership whose shared goal = best possible outcomes.

This means that people receive support: support to take ownership of their personal health; support to access their health information; and support in making decisions about the healthcare options available to them.

Such support also requires collaboration among and between healthcare professionals. Care providers must collaborate with one another so they can offer each individual whom they serve the best possible healthcare, wellness options, and services.