Patient-Centered Care: Rebecca Bryson's Story

Excerpt from 2002 IHI National Forum keynote address by Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Throughout her experience with a chronic illness marked by extensive complications, Rebecca Bryson, who works on a team in the Pursuing Perfection initiative (Whatcom County, Bellingham, Washington, USA), has found that many of the challenges patients face are system problems.

The obstacles largely stem from the design of the health care system, Bryson says, with the result that "patients are in the worst kind of maze, one filled with hazards, barriers, and burdens." She divides these problems into three major areas: medical records, gate keeping, and seeing the patient as a whole person.

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