Advancing the Practice of Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Hospitals. How to Get Started

What is patient- and family-centered care? Why does it matter? How does it fit with a hospital's overall mission? And finally, what can a hospital leader do to advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care? Where do they start?

Today, hospital leaders and patients and families nationwide are asking these questions. The purpose of this document is to provide some answers.

Part I provides a rationale for a patient- and family-centered approach to care, and defines its core concepts.

Part II outlines steps a hospital can take to begin to create partnerships with patients and families and offers practical suggestions for getting started.

Part III, “Where Do We Stand?,” provides an assessment tool that hospitals can use to determine the degree to which patient- and family-centered approaches are embedded in their current organizational culture.

Part IV, “Engaging Patients and Families: A High-Leverage Tool for Health Care Leaders,” is a firsthand account of one hospital leader's experience. The article, “Patients and Families—Powerful new partners for healthcare and for caregivers,” from the Healthcare Executive magazine provides useful information to senior executives and trustees for enhancing safety and patient- and family-centered practice.

Part V contains the criteria for the American Hospital Association's McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. This prize honors hospital leadership commitment to quality, safety, and patient- and family-centered care and efforts to systematically integrate this work.

Part VI lists selected print and web resources.

Part VII, “Selecting, Preparing, and Supporting Patient and Family Advisors,” offers practical guidance for beginning the process of identifying, recruiting and sustaining the involvement of advisors.

Part VIII, “A Checklist for Attitudes About Partnering with Patients and Families,” provides a tool for gathering information about the perceptions and attitudes of staff and administrative leaders.