Skip to main content

As health care providers and therapists, one of our first priorities is to access our patients and determine their needs based on the noted areas of impairments. However, we often make decisions for care based on our perspectives and perceptions of what we feel their needs may be, not always considering the patients’ and families’ ultimate goals and discharge plans.

Instead, it is critical that we collaborate with the interdisciplinary team, patients, and families to set obtainable goals that are both functional and therapeutic and, most importantly, meaningful to both the patients and families at the center of the plan. Changing our thinking from being PROVIDERS to PARTNERS in care is important.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) is an “approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families.” A key goal of this approach is maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of patients and families. PFCC is “working with patients and families, rather than just doing to or for them.” Some primary goals of Patient- and Family-Centered Care are to improve outcomes, improve staff productivity and morale, and reduce the overall cost of care.

It is critical that we collaborate with the interdisciplinary team, patients, and families to set obtainable goals that are both functional and therapeutic and, most importantly, meaningful to both the patients and families at the center of the plan.

The Core Concepts of Patient- and Family-Centered Care are as follows:

  • Respect and Dignity: Listening and honoring patient and family perspectives and choices, incorporating knowledge, beliefs, and backgrounds into care planning and delivery.
  • Information Sharing: Communicating and sharing information in a timely and accurate fashion to allow for effective participation and decision-making.
  • Participation: Encouragement of participation in care planning, decision-making, and treatment.
  • Collaboration: Working together to develop, implement, and evaluate needs and delivery of care.

How do we implement PFCC:

1

Involve patients and families from the beginning of their stay through care-plan meetings and education. Ask, “what is important to you?”
2

Allow open participation of family members during treatment sessions. This allows for ongoing education and training throughout the stay, encouraging questions and allowing those involved to understand and witness the changes that may be necessary before discharge in a timely manner.
3

Provide the necessary information for patients and families to be self-advocates.
4

Allow patients and families to make choices.
5

Choose therapy activities that are meaningful to the patient, catering to their social, professional, and personal needs.
6

Schedule and allow time for collaborative and individualized meetings.

In conclusion, we all desire optimal quality of life and personalized care and treatment. Putting Patient- and Family-Centered Care into practice can assist us as clinicians in ensuring that we are putting our patients and families first and working toward our desired needs and outcomes, and most importantly, theirs.

 

References: Johnson, B.H. & Abraham, M. R. (2012).  Partnering with Patients, Residents, and Families:  A Resource for Leaders of Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Settings, and Long-Term Care Communities.  Bethesda, MD:  Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care.

About the author:

Noell Gibson Cleveland, MA, CCC/SLP, RAC-CT, CCM
Director of Care Coordination

Noell began her tenure with Encore as a Regional Vice President of Operations in 2017 and currently serves as the Director of Care Coordination and lead of Encore’s Respiratory Therapy program. Her passion for helping others, in-depth understanding of care management, and patient/resident focus guided her to obtain her certification in case management in 2018. As a NASL 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders member and an active participant in NARA, Noell is also committed to advocacy and change in our industry. Noell strives to advocate for our employees and those we are privileged to serve in our industry.

Let’s Connect