Veterans Health System Cited by Experts as a Model for Patient-Centered Care

Bridget M. Kuehn | Journal of the American Medical Association | February 1, 2012

By building on its unique structure and assets, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has leapfrogged ahead of many health systems on the path toward a patient-centered care model, concluded many health care quality improvement experts at a recent conference.

The Patient-Centeredness in Policy and Practice conference was cohosted by the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization using science-based methods to identify processes and products that improve health care, and the US Food and Drug Administration, with support from several other organizations. The meeting convened experts on a range of issues related to the implementation of a patient-centered care model—one that focuses on the person or family rather than on disease, that empowers patients to take an active role in their care, and that provides seamlessly integrated services from a multidisciplinary team.

Several speakers pointed to the health system operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as one that has successfully …