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Person-centredness is at the heart of ACP’s draft Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

March 5, 2024
Pharmacy professional helping patient with ACP logo and text saying
Providing consistent person-centred care is a key element of the draft standards.

It’s a concept that is often discussed. When delivered effectively, it happens seamlessly and naturally. It makes a tremendous difference in the quality of care experienced by patients.

The concept?

Person-centred care.

It’s at the very heart of ACP’s draft Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT). In fact, it’s the first of the eight domains found in the draft standards. Person-centred care is a concept that influences the other seven domains in the draft standards and is foundational to every aspect of pharmacy practice.

Stated simply, person-centred care occurs when professional services are delivered in an approach that recognizes the patient as a partner in their care. As described in the draft standards, regulated members demonstrate person-centred care when they

  • meaningfully involve patients in decision-making processes related to their care,
  • genuinely care for the well-being of each patient and act in the patient’s best interests,
  • develop positive and trusting relationships with every patient,
  • work with each patient to support their care and advocate on their behalf,
  • respect the privacy and autonomy of every patient,
  • respect the dignity and rights of every patient without prejudice, and
  • have strong communication skills and are active listeners.

Person-centred care recognizes that each patient is an individual with their own values, needs, and health concerns. It optimizes the delivery of health care by having regulated members collaborate with patients to understand what is important to them. Regulated members may then adapt the care they provide to meet each patient’s health needs and goals.

The draft standards support regulated members in providing a person-centred approach that achieves positive health outcomes, by acknowledging and respecting the culture, race, religion, gender identity, age, disability, and diversity of their patients, and to consider how these individual factors interact with the health system to impact patient care.

To provide person-centred care, regulated members need to create an inclusive, culturally safe environment in their practice, where patients feel valued and are empowered to discuss their expectations, goals, and concerns about their care.

The standards also address caring for Indigenous patients, minimizing stigma, providing trauma-informed care, and harm reduction.

As partners in their care, regulated members collaborate with their patients when providing professional services. This helps regulated members better understand what is important to their patients as individuals and adapt the care they provide to meet each patient’s unique health needs and goals.

Later this year, Council will review an updated version of the draft SPPPT for the purpose of approval.

During the next few months, watch The Link for more concepts that are changing in the draft standards, and how these changes will affect your practice and, ultimately, the health and well-being of Albertans.