Planning together: Patient-centered care planning to improve health outcomes

Type: Journal Article
Date: February 2019


Planning together: Patient-centered care planning to improve health outcomes. Miriam Tepper, Ekta Taneja, Kristin King. Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, 2019.


Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) experience significant health disparities and die much younger than the general population. Interventions to address this disparity have targeted nutrition, physical fitness, and smoking cessation, but have not yet resulted in significant improvements in health outcomes for this population.

The patient-centered care plan, used by providers and patients during outpatient visits, is a potential tool for engaging patients in their own care. We undertook a quality improvement initiative to boost the use of care plans.

Care plan completion increased substantially over the time period of the initiative. Interviews with patient-provider dyads indicated that patients found care plan conversations helpful for articulating and working toward their goals. Providers generally found them useful for refocusing the treatment, though some found the workflow cumbersome.

Improving health outcomes among those with SMI will likely require improving patient activation; the patient-centered care plan might be a useful tool for addressing patient activation.

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