Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Quality of Care

Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Centering Care Around You

VA is continuing to refine and improve the way health care is delivered to Veterans. Increasingly, the focus is on understanding and meeting the needs of patients while helping them heal. VA calls this "patient-centered care".

Features of the Patient-Centered Model
• Focused on the person, not just the disease
• Improves overall health and well-being
• Encourages the patient to be proactive
• Works to identify and minimize health risks
• Includes lifelong planning, not just short-term fixes
• Based on teamwork and health care partnerships

An important part of patient-centered care is changing a health care provider’s first question from "What’s the matter with you?" to "What matters to you?"

This question helps establish a deeper relationship between the patient and the health care team. It’s a relationship that focuses on improving the life of the patient, not just treating a disease.

Sgt. James Hackemer talks with one of his health care providers at VA's Polytrauma/TBI unit.

Here are 10 ways patient-centered care provides better quality health care for Veterans:

  1. All team members - from doctors and nurses to family members - are considered caregivers
  2. Care is based on continuous healing relationships
  3. Care is customized and reflects patient needs, values, and choices
  4. Knowledge and information are freely shared between and among patients, care partners, physicians, and other caregivers
  5. Care is provided in a healing environment of comfort, peace, and support
  6. Families and friends of the patient are considered an essential part of the care team
  7. Patient safety is a visible priority
  8. Transparency is the rule in the care of the patient
  9. All caregivers cooperate with one another through a common focus on the best interests and personal goals of the patient
  10. The patient is the source of control for their care