How to strengthen patient centredness in caring for people with multimorbidity in Europe?



Iris van der Heide, Sanne P Snoeijs, Wienke GW Boerma, François G Schellevis, Mieke P Rijken. On behalf of the ICARE4EU consortium

Too often health systems are centred around the disease rather than the patient. This policy brief identifies the key elements and potential benefits of patient-centred care for people with multimorbidity and flags up the strategies, which can help to strengthen patient-centred care. Key messages include that:

  • Patient-centredness requires a coordinated approach to the organization and delivery of care that delivers real benefits, increasing patient satisfaction and countering problems of fragmented care, such as inappropriate use of health services and unresponsiveness.
  • Innovation often stems from grassroots initiatives and patient-centred programmes that develop despite, and not because of, national regulations.
  • Policy makers need to do  more to foster innovation and effective collaboration by creating a supportive environment including 
    • Developing a shared vision and engaging with patients, carers and social care
    • Paying real attention to coordination between levels of care
    • Providing training, and
    • Supporting tools that share information and foster monitoring and evaluation.