Best Practice Guideline for Patient-Centred Care in South African Public Hospitals
Delivery of quality healthcare in South African is framed by the Batho Pele (“People First”) principles and the National Patients’ Rights Charter, both of which emphasise patient-centred care. However, underfunding, mismanagement, and neglect of the South African public infrastructure result in the implementation of these policy documents often not being evident in practice. The challenges of rendering patient-centred care under such circumstances spurred the development of an evidence-based best practice guideline to assist professional nurses in public hospitals. This article outlines the development of a best practice guideline for patient-centred care in public hospitals. An adapted version of the approach recommended by the Clinical Guidelines Advisory Committee of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence was applied to develop the guideline. The draft guideline was submitted to experts for review. Thereafter it was modified and finalised. Nine sets of recommendations related to practice, education, organisation and policy were developed as part of the guideline. These involve (1) embracing values and beliefs foundational to patient-centred care; (2) optimal communication in all facets of care; (3) rendering of basic nursing care practices; (4) family involvement; (5) awareness of the importance of culture in patient-centred care; (6) organisational and managerial support; (7) organisational champions; (8) positive work environment; and (9) organisational structure that promotes interprofessional collaborative practice. It is anticipated that the guideline can be implemented after pilot testing and can be used by professional nurses rendering care to patients in public hospitals in South Africa.