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Veterans Health Administration

Patient Centered Care

A group of health professionals talk with a Veteran

 

A transformation of health care

“We are starting with their problem. We need to start with the person.”

Dr. Tracy Gaudet, Director of VA’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, believes the future of VA health care will require that we ask the Veteran, “How can we help you live your life fully?”

She believes that “Veterans committed their lives, health and well being to mission success in defense of our country. Now we can help them be mission ready for their lives, optimizing their health in service of what matters to them. We will identify success when Veterans achieve outcomes they never even imagined possible.”

The mission of the Veterans Health Administration is to “honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.”

A critical challenge lies in the fact that the medical model in the United States is focused on disease care, which is an essential aspect of optimizing health and well-being, but is incomplete.

A Personalized, Proactive, Patient Driven Approach

Dr. Gaudet explains, “Advancing our approach to more fully address the health and well being of our Veterans will have a broader impact on their lives and the challenges facing them.

“If we continue to approach our Veterans only through the paradigm of the current medical model of the United States, much of what they need to live their life fully and optimize their health and well-being goes unaddressed.”

This is why the VHA is embarking on a transformation of health care, to drive the current model that is primarily, “find it, fix it” disease care, to a personalized, proactive approach that is driven by the individual needs of the Veteran.

“Our goal is to design a system where we partner with our Veterans to be mission ready for their lives, optimizing their health in service of what matters to them.”

It’s called Patient Centered Care.

Dr. Gaudet adds that, “Until we employ a personalized strategy that considers the Veteran’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, addressing the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences, we will not optimally help our Veterans to minimize disease or regain and maintain their health.

“Our goal is to design a system where we partner with our Veterans to be mission ready for their lives, optimizing their health in service of what matters to them.”

How can I help you live your life fully?

Dr. Gaudet believes that the current health care system must be transformed to a personalized, proactive, patient-driven approach which enables engagement with life in accordance with how an individual wants to live.

“In the past we asked, what can I fix? Today we say, how can I help what’s wrong with you? In the future, we need to say, how can I help you live your life fully?

“The real opportunity for transformation of health care in this country,” explained Gaudet, “is that when we put the person and their life at the center, when we get the process right, we will get the outcomes and costs right.

“This is such important work and the people doing the real work are in the field. Our office is just trying to clarify the future state, give the field the tools they need to succeed, and remove barriers whenever possible.

“Our Veterans are incredibly deserving and VA is committed to leading this transformation, both for our Veterans and our country.”