What is Patient Family-Centered Care?


At the heart of patient family-centered care is the belief that health care staff and the family are partners, working together to best meet the needs of the child. Excellence in health care happens when we work together and honor the expertise each of us brings to every health encounter. Patient family-centered care is a continual effort to be responsive to the needs and choices of each family.

The core concepts of Patient Family Centered Care are:

  • Dignity and Respect - To listen to and honor patient and family ideas and choices and to use patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds to improve care planning and delivery.
  • Information Sharing - To communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in useful ways. Patients and families receive timely, complete and accurate details so they can take part in care and decision making.
  • Involvement - To encourage and support patients and families in care and decision making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration - To invite patients and family members to work together with health care staff to develop and evaluate policies and programs.

The core concepts of Patient Family Centered Care place value on:

  • Recognizing that each child and each family is unique. Families have different personalities, life experiences, values, beliefs, education, and religious and cultural backgrounds. Care provided should be equal to all patients and flexible so that the needs and choices of families can be met.
  • Open honest communication between patients, their families, and health care staff. Being willing to talk about the bad as well as the good is important for changing, improving, and developing best care practices and policies. This kind of clear communication enhances the patient’s and family’s health care experience.
  • Empowering of families to join in their child’s health care journey. When families and patients understand their options, they are empowered to be involved in their child’s care.
  • Acknowledging that families are allies for quality and safety within the health care system. By working together, families and staff are strengthened by their partnership and shared knowledge. This results in the highest quality of care.