Enhancing Empathy, Individualization, and Trauma-Informed Approaches

In the realm of healthcare, the age-old principle of the Golden Rule has guided our interactions: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” However, as our understanding of diversity, culture, and trauma has evolved, a more nuanced approach has emerged—the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they’d want done unto them.” 

Practicing the Platinum Rule requires us to go beyond our own perspectives and consciously consider the unique needs and preferences of each individual. We explore the significance of embracing the Platinum Rule in patient-centered care, particularly in the context of trauma-informed approaches.


The importance of the Platinum Rule in patient-centered care

Patient-centered care demands that we recognize and respect the diversity among individuals seeking healthcare services. Each patient brings their own set of cultural backgrounds, social norms, and personal experiences. By following the Platinum Rule, we go beyond the limitations of the Golden Rule and acknowledge that the way we want to be treated may differ from how others would like to be treated.


Implementing the Platinum Rule in patient-centered and trauma-informed care

Individualized communication:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of patient-centered care. To truly understand and meet a patient’s needs, we must adapt our communication style accordingly. Some patients may prefer detailed information, while others may require simpler language or reassurances of safety. By tailoring our communication approach, we foster better understanding and promote a sense of trust and comfort.


Cultural sensitivity:

Cultural competence is essential for providing quality healthcare. Recognizing and respecting diverse cultural, religious, and personal beliefs allows us to align treatment plans with each patient’s values. By integrating cultural sensitivity into our practices, we create an environment where patients feel seen, heard, and respected.


Shared decision-making:

Empowering patients to be active participants in their own care is a fundamental aspect of patient-centered approaches. Shared decision-making involves understanding the patient’s level of comfort, their values, priorities, and medical history. By involving patients in the decision-making process, we foster a sense of ownership and ensure that their healthcare aligns with their preferences and goals.


Safety and comfort:

Creating a safe and comfortable environment is particularly crucial when dealing with patients who have experienced trauma. The Platinum Rule prompts us to consider not only the physical comfort of our patients but also their emotional and psychological well-being. By prioritizing their sense of safety, we establish trust and facilitate healing.


Trauma awareness:

A trauma-informed approach is essential in healthcare settings, as trauma can significantly impact a patient’s well-being and response to care. By recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledging the role trauma plays in an individual’s life, we demonstrate empathy and create an environment that supports healing and recovery.


Embracing the Platinum Rule in patient-centered care goes beyond the traditional Golden Rule, enabling us to provide more empathetic, individualized, and trauma-informed care. By taking the time to understand the unique needs and preferences of each patient, we can deliver healthcare experiences that uphold dignity, promote healing, and respect their lived experiences. 

At Acadian Health, our unwavering commitment to the Platinum Rule allows us to exceed our patients’ expectations and improve their overall healthcare journey.

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