What is Individualised and Personalised care and is it important?

These two elements are critical for producing the best treatment results. Regarding Fertility treatments, it refers to a collective approach that maximises your success.

Specialists often use these terms loosely, but what does it really mean?

Individualised care:
This means that treatment is tailored to your specific needs. This is determined after a thorough evaluation of your own unique history and any prior treatments and tests you may have had. Individualising care requires extensive expertise and up-to-date knowledge on the part of your treating Specialist.

Personalised care:
Personalised care means that your specialist personally delivers all aspects of your care, personally interprets your results and personally plans the next stages of treatment with you.

For Fertility treatments, this is critically important because these treatments are made up of a number of steps that are conducted over 2-3 weeks (see my sections on Artificial Insemination and IVF for more information). It is absolutely crucial for each step to be conducted properly if the next step is to work, and ultimately, for your treatment to succeed. The best way to achieve this is if one highly trained expert oversees each and every step of treatment, and for every step to be undertaken with the utmost skill. If early steps are undertaken poorly, or if important information is missed, later steps will falter and ultimately, treatment will fail.

It is important to understand the difference between truly Personalised care and other models of treatment. In other models, multiple personnel are involved. For instance, one doctor might undertake your first consultation, nurses or external ultrasound scanners might undertake your IVF monitoring, yet another doctor might undertake your egg pick-up and yet another doctor might undertake your embryo transfer. It can be seen that in this model, anywhere from 2-4 (and sometimes even more) different health care providers are involved in your care, each with a different level of expertise. Because so many people are involved, it is possible that important information might get overlooked, or may not be passed from one person to the next, ultimately interrupting the smooth flow needed for the best outcomes.