Viewing families as partners and allies for quality and safety, and supporting their presence and participation in care and decision-making, requires hospitals not only to change "visiting" policies but also to provide education for clinicians and other staff.
“The institution that has the foresight and understanding of creating a supportive environment for their patients, families, visitors, medical staff, and [other] health professionals will be the leader in the future delivery of health care.”
—Alberto Salvatore, Banker and Tradesman, February 1998
While many people lead healthy lives into their eighties and beyond, most become more fragile and less independent as they grow older. The traditional health care model focuses on the immediate needs of the older person as a patient with one or more diseases, but care in this model is fragmented and narrowly focused. The complexities of the older person's support system of family, friends, and other community members may not be fully utilized. The family-centered care model seeks to address all spectrum of concerns by creating a collaborative partnership among the patient, the family, and physicians and other health care providers.
Patient and family faculty programs are a major means through which family-centered professional education can become a reality. In these programs, patients and families work side by side with health professionals in the education of medical students, nursing students, and other trainees, and in the provision of inservice training as well.
How can we build and sustain a system of care to support families, children, and youth when a parent has a serious, chronic, or life-threatening illness? When a parent is diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, children are reluctant to verbalize their fears and concerns to those closest to them because they don't want to add to their family's burdens. Often schools, recreation programs, and other sources of community support are not aware of the problems nor prepared to help the child and family.
Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Annual Reports
An Advisory Council and Committee annual report is a comprehensive report on the group's activities and accomplishments from the preceding year for the organization, whether it is a hospital, health system, ambulatory program or the long-term care community. Annual reports are intended to give organizational leaders and other interested people information about the collaborative endeavors and organizational activities and to help them understand the Council's and Committee's future direction.
In the United States and Canada, hospitals and clinics of all sizes are recognizing the value of patient and family resource centers in meeting consumer information and support needs. A number of trends, prominently the commitment to family-centered care, public interest in health issues, and competition between institutions are fostering an increased interest in developing patient and family resource centers in health care settings.
The Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care is honored that it has been chosen to host the historic Picker Institute website, as an archive, effective December 31, 2012.
The Picker Institute, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the principles of patient-centered care, has worked in partnership with educational institutions and other committed organizations and individuals to sponsor Picker Institute awards, research, and education to promote patient-centered care and the patient-centered care movement. Picker Institute values include: "All patients deserve high-quality healthcare, and patients' views and experiences are integral to successful improvement efforts."
Primary Care/Medical Home
The principles underlying patient- and family-centered care can serve as a framework for making primary care responsive to the concerns and priorities of all. This approach to health care involves patients and their families as partners in their own care as well as in planning, implementing, and evaluating improvements to the systems of care. Patient- and family-centered care places an emphasis on collaborating with patients and families of all ages, at all levels of care, and in all health care settings.
The practice of patient- and family-centered care has shown evidence-based positive outcomes in terms of quality, safety, and patient/family satisfaction, which support its validity and value. The Bibliography/Supporting Evidence page shows the increasing body of evidence to support this practice. In addition to scholarly articles, video technology is an effective mode of instruction. Therefore, the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care has developed this video webpage to serve as a visual resource to increase the understanding and practice of patient- and family-centered care.
Changing the Concept of Families as Visitors