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Person and Family - Centered Care

How do you improve the quality, safety, and delivery of care?

At Christian Health (CHCC), the answer focuses on building partnerships between the staff, and those we serve and their families through Patient- and Family-centered Care (PFCC). PFCC is a philosophy focusing on treating patients, residents, clients, consumers – and their family members – as partners on the care team. PFCC is about responding to individual needs in all that we do, providing the ability to make choices about care and daily activities, and understanding perceptions of care – what is important, how well we deliver care, and, more important, how can we analyze and change care practices to improve outcomes. PFCC involves four components: respect and dignity, information sharing, participation in care and decision-making, and collaboration on policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.

PFCC is not unique to Christian Health. It’s in practice in health-care facilities throughout the country. But what is unique here are our residents, patients, clients, and consumers, as well as their family members and neighbors. We care about their participation in the care we provide, about the information we share together, and the choices made for their well-being.

What is PFCC?

Person- and Family-centered Care (PFCC) at Christian Health is an approach to health care that offers a new way of thinking about the relationships between patients/residents/clients/consumers (“patients”), their families, and health-care providers. It is founded on the understanding that the patient and family voice and understanding that their perception of care plays a vital role in outcomes.

Where did this concept come from?

PFCC was developed in 1960 at the International Council of Nursing. In 1987, PFCC started in the United States as part of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop’s initiative for a family-centered community and coordinated care for children with special health-care needs and their families. Now, there is a growing national recognition based on consumer demand (baby boomers) that PFCC is relevant to patients of all ages. Health-care reform has also included it as part of the triple aim – best outcomes, best patient experiences, best cost effectiveness.

What do patients want?

Patients want health care to center efforts on patients and families and what they want. However, health-care systems have grown so complex and fragmented. PFCC focuses on treating patients and their family members as partners on the care team. This is important because consumers want power/autonomy, the ability to make their own decisions about their health care, to be listened to, privacy, and, most important, they want identity. They want health-care providers to know who they are, how they came to be here, and how they want to be treated, informed, and asked about their preferences.

Based on these findings, PFCC at Christian Health Care is first and foremost:

  • hearing the voice of the patient in all we do and giving him/her the ability to make choices about care and daily activities, and
  • understanding the person’s perceptions of care – what is important to him/her, how well we are delivering care, and, more important, what factors in care practices can improve outcomes.

The ultimate goal is that PFCC creates partnerships among health-care practitioners, patients, and families that will lead to the best outcomes and enhance the quality of health care.

Who is the patient or is it person?

Patients at Christian Health are:

  • our independent, assisted-living, or long-term care residents,
  • our mental-health services patients and consumers,
  • our short-term rehab patients, and
  • and our adult day services clients.

Who is the family?

Family refers to two or more persons who are related in any way – biologically, emotionally, or legally. PFCC is used to make it clear that adult patients or persons are the primary decision-makers and may include their families and loved ones to the extent that they choose. The term family-centered is in no way intended to remove control from adults who are competent to make decisions concerning their own health care.

What are the four principles of PFCC at Christian Health?

  1. Dignity and Respect We acknowledge their identity, knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds and incorporate them into the planning and delivery of care
  2. Information sharing: We communicate and share complete and unbiased information to the people we serve and families in ways that are affirming and useful. The people we serve and their families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  3. Participation: The people we serve and their families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  4. Collaboration: There is collaboration among the people we serve, family members, and providers occurs in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation, and in facility design and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.

What is the Patient and Family Advisory Council?

A crucial element to the success of PFCC is to truly hear the voices of those entrusted to our care and their families. To this end, CHCC formed the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Each CHCC program and residence is represented on the council. The PFAC also includes key staff.

PFAC members provide important input which helps create an approach to health care that shapes policies, programs, facility design, and staff day-to-day interactions. PFAC members partner with CHCC to improve care by sharing their stories, providing feedback, participating in discussion groups, reviewing or helping create educational or informational materials, and working on short-term projects. Members are candid. they offers suggestions and potential solutions to help improve care. They share their perspectives and personal experiences – both positive and negative – as a patient or family member, and present ideas about how things could have been done differently. They listen carefully, respect one another’s viewpoint, and maintain confidentiality.