The HSO:76000 Integrated People-Centred Health Systems (IPCHS) standard will be released shortly. This standalone standard aims to guide health and social systems to cultivate a culture that is dedicated to providing people-centred care.

Are you wondering what this new standard means as a patient, or as a health or social services provider? Here are five facts:

1. Adopts a People-Centred approach:
This standard will help health and social services providers and patients work together by positioning the patient as an equal partner in care and engaging them in shared decision-making.

With this standard, the patient and their family will be better supported to self-manage and control long-term health conditions, as well as experience better coordination of care across health and social services settings.

“What matters to me is my ‘in the moment’ experience with my health care provider and that together, we collaborate on how to manage my care,” said Brenda Andreas, a Patient Partner with Health Standards Organization (HSO) and Technical Committee member who worked on the development of the new standard.

2. Helps in the delivery of Integrated Care:
For care providers, the new standard aims to provide guidance about the design and implementation of integrated care.

It works to assist care providers in ensuring accessible, comprehensive and coordinated services across a continuum of care. The new standard also ensures the provision of team-based care and services by incentivizing collaboration among providers.

Andreas added: “Team-based care focusing on the whole person will impact patients and families at the point of care. This means they will be supported to grow into their role as a visible, collaborative care team member.”

3. Allows health systems to start from where they are:
“This standard is not meant to replace or change existing bricks and mortar,” Andreas said.

The new standard was developed in response to growing enthusiasm for health system integration. It addresses the how of integration for both policy makers and health systems/authorities – providing evidence-based direction on how to implement integrated care and services in accordance with international best practices.

Andreas noted the new standard speaks to a strategy for implementation. “The new standard also identifies who the stakeholders are and then, defines what is Citizen Engagement; what is Community Engagement; what is Patient Engagement,” she said. “All the while, embedding people-centred care into two distinct but similar perspectives – Integrated Care and Shared Governance, throughout the standard.”

4. Aims to create positive change at the system level:
The new standard is system-level in its scope, meaning that it applies at the policy and operational levels.

It aims to target Canadian and international governments, regulators, administrations, and health and social services ministries at the policy level. At the operational level, the standard aims to target health authorities, health systems as well as local health and social services provider organizations such as primary health care centres, home care agencies, long-term care organizations and community health services.

The standard targets those who have a critical role in achieving integrated care for people and communities within their jurisdictions.

5. Encourages engagement:
This standard aims to engage service providers and communities to come together in the design of a health system that meets their specific health needs and well-being goals.

Andreas added it is important that an education program be developed for patients, families and communities, so they are better informed and better able to co-create what matters to them. “It’s to move from patients and families being dependent on the health care system to meet our needs, to individuals and communities having personal accountability for managing their health and well-being themselves,” she said.

Andreas noted that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has moved health care outside of the traditional organization. “This standard gives us a ‘how to’ for that,” she said.

HSO:76000 Integrated People-Centred Health Systems (IPCHS) was developed through HSO’s rigorous standards development process, including a Technical Committee of experts from four categories: patients and caregivers; health and social service providers; researchers; and policy makers.

As a Technical Committee member, Andreas noted that she was proud to be involved in the development of this standard from the grassroots level onwards. “I am proud of being part of history and getting a first-hand opportunity to support system transformation,” she said.

This is a standalone standard, meaning it is not part of the Qmentum Accreditation or Distinction programs. You can learn more here.