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Patient- and Family-Centred Care

Logo for Putting Patients First - Patient and Family Centred Care in Saskatchewan

Patient- and family-centred care is about providing respectful, compassionate, culturally responsive care that meets the needs, values, cultural backgrounds and beliefs, and preferences of patients and their family members in diverse backgrounds by working collaboratively with them. It is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families and healthcare providers.

In Saskatchewan, patient- and family-centred care concepts were first explored by the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) in 2005. Since then, the SHR has been actively engaging patients and families in planning, in development of policies and programs, and in quality improvement work.

The Patient First Review report For Patients' Sake recommended that "the Saskatchewan healthcare system make patient- and family centred care (PFCC) the foundation and principle aim of the Saskatchewan health system through a broad policy framework to be adopted system wide". In response to this recommendation, a provincial framework for patient- and family-centred care was developed in consultation with health system stakeholders as well as patient and family advisors from the Saskatoon Health Region. The framework has been shared with stakeholders to guide their adoption of patient- and family-centred care. As indicated in the 2011-12 Strategic and Operational Directions for the Health Sector, patient- and family-centred care is a priority for the Saskatchewan health system, and the Saskatchewan health system is committed to moving forward with patient and family-centred care collectively as a system to improve the patient experience across the care continuum.
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1. Getting Started

Most publicly-funded health services in Saskatchewan are delivered by health regions, their affiliated organizations, other organizations that receive funding from health regions, and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

The following steps developed by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC)are intended to help health system leaders start their organization's journey toward patient- and family-centred care (PFCC):

  1. Implement a process for all senior leaders to learn about patient- and family-centred care;

  2. Appoint a PFCC steering committee comprised of patients, families, informal leaders of the organization, and physicians and staff from all disciplines;

  3. Assess the extent to which the concepts and principles of PFCC are currently implemented within your organization (e.g. hospital, clinics, long-term care organizations, etc.)

  4. On the basis of the assessment, set priorities and develop an action plan for establishing patient- and family-centred care in your organization;

  5. Using the action plan as a guide, begin to incorporate patient- and family-centred care concepts and strategies into the organization's strategic priorities. Make sure that these concepts are integrated into your organization's mission, philosophy of care, and definition of quality;

  6. Invite patients and families to serve as advisors in a variety of ways. Appoint some of these individuals to key committee and task forces;

  7. Provide education and support to patients, families, and staff on patient- and family-centred care and on how to collaborate effectively in quality improvement and health care redesign. For example, provide opportunities for administrators and clinical staff to hear patients and family members share stories of their health care experiences during orientation and continuing education programs; and

  8. Monitor changes made, evaluate processes, measure the impact, continue to advance the practice and celebrate and recognize successes.

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2. Best Practices

Examples of successful approaches.

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3. Patient and Family Advisor Program

A Saskatchewan initiative to increase the involvement of patients and family members in planning and reviewing health care programs and services in our province. 

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4. Additional Resources for Patient- and Family-Centred Care

Institute for Patient- and Family-Centred Care
Non-profit organization based in the United States that  promotes better understanding of, and practice in patient- and family-centered care.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
A leading source of information, education and engagement about improvement in health care.

Planetree
A non-profit that provides education and information to support patient-centred care.

Picker Institute
An independent non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the principles of patient-centered care, through research and education to promote patient-centered care, and awards for excellence.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Canadian healthcare organization in Ontario that has begun their journey of adopting patient- and family-centred care.

Georgia Health Sciences University Center for Patient- and Family-Centred Care
The Center has adopted patient- and family-centred care since 1993 and has the largest patient and family advisor program in the U.S.

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