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Person-Centered Health

Gary Christopherson


“Person-centered health”, in its entirety, is really different than almost any care provided today by any health provider or health system.  But if “health” is really what we want to achieve, then we suggest that “person-centered health” is how we need to operate.  While many providing health care today believe they are providing “person-centered health,” many of them and many others, in the true sense of the term, are not.  We would suggest that person-centered health is “The person a) is supported as a unique and whole person who changes over time, b) is at the center of self care, formal health care and informal health support, b) has, receives and provides necessary health-related information, c) has health care/support coordinated via an effective person and clinician partnership, and d) achieves good health outcomes and high health status.  We suggest there are a series of actions that, if successfully carried out, will help bring about a person-centered health system.  These actions are shown in the HealthePeople strategy.  By weaving together these actions into the HealthePeople strategy and delivering on that strategy, we can increase the probability that we will achieve a person-centered health system and the many benefits such a system should provide.

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. Miles, A. & Mezzich. J.E. (2011). The care of the patient and the soul of the clinic: person-centered medicine as an emergent model of modern clinical practice. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 1 (2), 207-222.

. Miles, A. (2009). On a Medicine of the Whole Person: away from scientistic reductionism and towards the embrace of the complex in clinical practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 15, 941-949.



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