Department of Health

Person-centred practice puts the person at the centre of everything we do.

It recognises that every patient is a unique and complex person. It respects their needs and preferences and the knowledge they bring about their health and healthcare needs.

Person-centred practice can minimise the functional decline of older people in hospital and help us tailor care to meet each person’s needs. It can result in decreased mortality, readmission rates and healthcare-acquired infections; improved functional status and increased patient and carer satisfaction.1

This topic gives an overview of person-centred practice and recommends actions that we and our organisations can take, in addition to health service policy and procedures, to provide quality person centred care to our older patients.

1. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards 2012: 23; Institute for Healthcare Improvement 2011: 6; Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care 2010: 15.

All public and private hospitals are required to be accredited to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare’s (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. The primary aims of the standards are to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision. Assessment to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards commenced in January 2019. The second edition comprises eight standards that provide a nationally consistent statement about the level of care consumers can expect from health services.

The Comprehensive Care Standard (Standard 5) aims to ensure that patients receive comprehensive health care that meets their individual needs, and considers the impact of their health issues on their life and wellbeing. It also aims to ensure that risks of harm for patients during health care are prevented and managed through targeted strategies. These include integrating patient care processes to identify patient needs and identifying actions related to falls, pressure injuries, nutrition, mental health, cognitive impairment and end-of-life care.

Information is presented in the Older People in Hospital learning topics that complements Standard 5 and other NSQHS Standards including the; Partnering with Consumers Standard (Standard 2), Medication Safety Standard (Standard 4), Communicating for Safety Standard (Standard 6) and Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration (Standard 8).

Reviewed 05 October 2015


Contact details

Older People in Hospital Department of Health

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