Patient centered care has begun to address the power dynamic of medical decision making, making it socially acceptable for consumers to not just be involved in their own care, but to be at the helm. More research needs to be applied to how the social context of the health care system can be changed to allow consumers more confidence to exert power in their own care.
Patient-centered care is a relatively new concept, brought to light in the Institute of Medicine’s March 2001 report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. One goal of patient centered care is less dictating what care is best from the medical community, and more collaboration with consumers on what their needs and goals are. The focus is on the whole person, not merely the disease.