Patient- and Family-Centered Care is an “innovative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care, patients, families, and providers.” (Institute for Patient- and Family- Centered Care). Adherence to a patient- and family-centered care approach essentially shifts the health care model away from the practice of doing “to” or “for” patients and their family and towards an approach of shared ownership and decision making “with” patients and families.
Engaging patients and families to work as collaborators around a broad range of health care planning and decision making is an essential first step in the journey towards patient- and family-centered care. Patient/family advisors bring valuable wisdom, advice, and experiences that can be used to improve the delivery, quality, and safety of health care. The University of Vermont Medical Center embraced Patient- and Family-Centered Care in 2014 and has been working to shift the culture.