Patient-Centered Care

ComForcare caregiver assisting client sitting in a wheel chair

Patient and family-centered care is an innovative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care patients, families, and providers. Patient- and family-centered care applies to patients of all ages, and it may be practiced in any health care setting.

What are the Core Concepts of Patient and Family-Centered Care?

  • Dignity and Respect. Health care practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing. Health care practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  • Participation. Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration. Patients and families are also included on an institution-wide basis. Health care leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in health care facility design; and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.

How to Receive Patient and Family-Centered Care

  • Top Ten Quality Indicators of an Effective Patient and Family-Centered Physician
  • Top Ten Things a Patient or Family Member can do to Ensure Quality Care
  • Patients And Families As Advisors: A Checklist For Attitudes
  • Patients And Families As Partners: A Checklist For Attitudes

These "Top Tens" and Checklists are adapted from Jeppson, E. Thomas, J. (1994). Essential Allies: Families as Advisors, courtesy of the Institute for Family-Centered Care, Bethesda, MD

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