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Kathy Kastner’s Person Centered Patient Education Best Practice Guidelines: Continued

by Kathy Kastner, Ability 4 Life

Having put forward a framework last month, I was delighted to have Colleen Young, Plain Language Expert, help, hone and legal and ethical perspective by Elizabeth Sloss, Lawyer and Health Ethicist.

My Guidelines are based not on the many and varied interpretations of Person Centered and Patient Education, but on the commonalities of being human.

1. Help me achieve my short and long-term goals.

  • Make my needs and concerns a priority.
  • Communicate clearly and use plain language.

2. Treat me with understanding.

  • Recognize I am being asked to learn about my condition without the benefit of medical training. Acknowledge the accomplishment this represents.
  • Ask me how much I want to be involved in my treatment plan.
  • Be sure we agree on what the next steps are for me and for the health care team.
  • Know that I may need help understanding Informed Consent, Advance Directives (Living Will) and Power of Attorney

3. Consider my learning needs.

  • Understand that this is a learning process for me; make sure I’m ready to hear you.
  • When I’m ready, ask me how much I want to know: the minimum, on an as-needed-basis, or much as possible.
  • Give me time to absorb what you’ve said.
  • Ask what my learning preferences are (print, video, internet or all three) and give me suggestions for reliable, credible, evidence-based information sources.

4. Know that I am part of a community.

  • Encourage me to share with my community, and address their questions and concerns in a follow-up appointment.
  • Help me understand what’s needed to achieve my goals and to help me manage my expectations.

5. Recognize that the final say is mine.

  • Respect my decision, even if it’s not what you would do or would recommend.
  • Support my decision, or help me find someone who can

©Kathy Kastner


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