Experts Meet, Make Recommendations in 12 Key Areas to Advance a Patient- and Family-Centered Health Care

Convening on patient-centered care

In 2006, the Institute for Family-Centered Care collaborated with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to convene a meeting of experts designed to develop a set of recommendations for key constituents in health care—patients and families, providers, administrators, educators, researchers, advocates and funders—for advancing patient- and family-centered care.

Patient- and family-centered care is an approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families and providers. According to the project director, its principles are consonant with the recommendations set forth for health care redesign in the Institute of Medicine's highly influential 2001 report entitled Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.

The Institute for Family-Centered Care, located in Bethesda, Md., is a nonprofit organization working to advance the understanding and practice of patient- and family-centered care. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a nonprofit organization working to improve health care throughout the world.

Key Results:

  • The meeting, entitled "Expert Panel Meeting on Partnerships with Patients and Families," took place on June 2, 2006, in Cambridge, Mass. It brought together 26 patient and family advisors and 59 administrative and clinical leaders from hospitals and other health care organizations, along with representatives from philanthropic organizations.

    Prior to the meeting, participants received a comprehensive paper developed to inform discussions, entitled "Partnering with Patients and Families to Design a Patient- and Family-Centered Health Care System: A Roadmap for the Future—A Work in Progress". The paper, which set out a patient- and family-centered framework for creating a shared vision and for developing recommendations for change, was developed jointly by the Institute for Family-Centered Care and Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

    Specific goals for the meeting were to:
    • Develop a shared vision and action plan for improving health care by advancing the practice of patient- and family-centered care and by creating partnerships with patients and families both in health care settings and within the organizations and agencies having an impact on health care.
    • Build commitment and synergy among participants and their organizations to advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care.
    • Ensure that meaningful and sustained partnerships are an essential component of quality improvement and the redesign of health care in the future.
    • Outline specific action steps and develop recommendations for:
      • Engaging and supporting patients, families, health care professionals and administrative leaders in working together on quality improvement and the redesign of health care.
      • Overcoming barriers to creating and sustaining these partnerships.
      • Building the evidence, resources, structures, processes and community to support and sustain this work.

    Conference attendees developed a total of 69 recommendations in 12 areas.