By Lorraine Anyango.
The future of health facilities is in working towards Patient-Centered Accreditation and integration of customer care services.
To realize the above, it’s important to emphasize Patient-Centered Care as part of the Medical Training Curriculums in Kenya so that it becomes a culture as the students transition to practice.
A public lecture at Maseno Varsity Plaza, Kisumu, appreciated Patient centeredness as a paradigm shift in health care, though it’s being implemented in silos, however, it’s time to advocate for and promote research in patient-centered care.
The lecture was organized by the Patient-Centered Care Movement (PaCem) Afro, with support from the County Government of Kisumu, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Marie Stopes and Maseno University.
PaCem was started by medical students after they realized a gap in Patient-Centered Care as they attended a conference in Uganda. The students agreed that they could transform health care in their own country and push for the introduction of Patient-Centered Care early in their courses.
Patient-centered care invites the patient to become an active and informed participant in their journey, their perception is put into consideration and their care is tailor-made to meet individual needs and preferences.
During the lecture, Dr. Greggory Ganda, Kisumu County Executive Committee Member for Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation who was the main speaker brought a new perspective into Patient-Centered Care.
Dr. Ganda underscored the integration of patient-centered care in community health settings as it tailors healthcare services to the unique characteristics of the local population.
“Residents listen and trust Community Health Promoters (CHP) they understand the culture, the social, economic, and environmental factors that impact health within a specific community.” Dr Ganda pointed out.
“It is crucial to involve the community in decision-making, this will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of health needs and this can inform planning, policy development as well as resource allocation.” He added noting that active involvement in the community fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to improve health outcomes.
Dr. Ganda was accompanied by the Director of Medical Services Dr. Don Sunday Ogolla, Ag Deputy CEO JOOTRH, Dr. Oduor, CEO of Kisumu Aghakan Hospital, and members of the County Health Management Team. (CHMT).
The attendees of the lecture drawn from medical schools and hospitals within Kisumu were awakened to the fact that education and health literacy programs are essential in patient-centered care within communities.
“By educating individuals about preventive measures, health lifestyle choices, and available resources, we empower them to take charge of their lives.” Dr Ganda said.
The lecture spelled out the role played by community health in Kisumu County is vital in establishing and fostering relationships within the community through transparent communication, follow-up care, and consistent engagement.
In his closing remarks, Dr Ganda said integrating patient-centered into community health creates a collaborative environment where patients and communities are active partners in health and improves outcomes.
“By understanding and addressing the unique needs of each individual and the community as a whole, we can build a healthier more connected society.” He said.