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GPCC Implement helps healthcare develop its person-centred approach


Picture: catarina Wallengren and Jesper Hök.

COLLABORATION. A person-centred approach makes care more effective and humane. Therefore, there is a major interest in health and social care in increasing person-centred care. To support the change process with different heads, a non-profit company has been built. GPCC Implement.

GPCC Implement is a so-called SVB company (NPO company), which means that the owner, GU Ventures AB, cannot withdraw any of the money from the company. Instead, any profit is reinvested. This social corporate form is a completely new tool for the university’s collaboration with the surrounding community. GPCC Implement was built by GU Ventures, is fully owned by the Swedish government and its mission is to implement research results and ideas sprung from The University of Gothenburg. The company has no staff, and instead involves those colleagues that are needed for each individual assignment.

“Research clearly shows that person-centred care is more effective and that it is a major strength of GPCC Implement. The fact that it is a non-profit company is another strength, and something that is well received by everyone I talk to,” says Catarina Wallengren who works with GPCC Implement together with Jesper Hök.

Headed by a duo

GPCC Implement is the result of several years of work, but was formally founded about a year ago. It is headed by Jesper, who is a behavioral scientist with a focus on organizational change in close collaboration with Catarina at GPCC, who is a PhD researcher in the Health and Care Sciences.
“Since its start, we have received over 150 requests from an array of places, from smaller wards that want to know more about how they can work toward becoming more consistently person centered, to major healthcare organizations that want support for a long-term process to revise their whole organization,” explains Catarina.

In the nearest future, GPCC Implement will be involved in Region Västa Götaland’s introduction of a more person-centred work method throughout the region. During 2016, the region will run, among other things, training in person-centred care, where change leaders from different administrations in the region will be gathered. An example of other major customers are Blekinge County Council and Region Gotland.

“When we return to an organization for the third or fourth time, we often notice that they have developed person-centred glasses, where they are able to point to a situation and say “that was not particularly person-centred”. It is extremely rewarding,” says Catarina.

A sustainable change

“We do not change their operation, they do. So essentially, it is a bit wrong to say that we work at implementing person-centred care,” says Jesper and continues,
“Person-centred care or patient-centred care is an already established concept for many, and most who work in care, more or less, provide care based on the patient’s wants and needs. But it must also be a management issue. If person-centred care is to be strategic, sustainable and permeate the entire organization, work is needed to actively drive it through at all levels, and that is where we can offer support.

The organizational barriers and opportunities that exist for creating a sustainable person-centred culture in care organizations is not yet fully mapped. The Center for Person-centred Care at the University of Gothenburg (GPCC) has recently launched a new research line on this, where experience from GPCC Implement can be a resource.

An equal partner

Person-centred care is an approach that means that the patient is an equal partner in their own care. They are included as a full member of the care team with influence over their care, instead of solely holding the role of a patient. The approach is well on its way to being widely accepted in health and social care. A clear sign of this is that Sweden’s municipalities and county councils decided to work for person-centred care in Swedish health and social care during their convention last fall. Research, especially that conducted via GPCC, shows that this approach has multiple benefits, among which are shorter hospital stays, lessened need of followup care and significantly more trusting patients.

The Center for Person-Centred Care – GPCC – was founded in 2010 with support from the Government’s strategic research investment in health and care research, with the overall goal to support and conduct research of high quality in person-centred care. The objective of the research is to gain knowledge on how long-term diseases are experienced and handled by the individual, as well as implementing and evaluating person-centred care.

Broschure about GPCC Implement PDF.

Text and photo: Elin Lindström Claessen