Patient Family Centered Care: It's More than Open Visitation
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Special Issue: 2012 Convention Proceedings
Volume 41, Issue s1, page S107, June 2012
How to Cite
Abney-Roberts, S. E. and Norman, C. (2012), Patient Family Centered Care: It's More than Open Visitation. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: S107. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01361_80.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
- patient-/family-centered care;
- patient advisors
Purpose for the Program
Patient family centered care (PFCC) is a concept familiar to most health care professionals. The Institute of Medicine defines PFCC as care that is respectful and responsive to patient preferences, needs and values, and ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions. But when questioned, many health care professionals think PFCC means open visitation only. Patient family centered care was first implemented at Georgia Health Sciences Health System in 1993 during the planning and design of the Children's Medical Center. Patients and their families were intimately involved in every decision from meals to sleeping arrangements. These concepts of PFCC have become an integral component of our mission and vision, and PFCC is a vehicle to improve patient satisfaction, quality, and safety.
Perinatal services identified several opportunities for improvement, including establishment of a patient advisory council, targeted education of medical and nursing staff, renovations of the women's health unit into a state-of-the-art environment approved by current and former patients, and a work redesign implementing mother–infant couplet care with patient input.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
In 2007, the Children's Medical Center Perinatal Patient Advisory Council was established. By 2009, renovations were underway based on input from patient advisors and key hospital employees. A significant work redesign was implemented with elimination of an admission/transition nursery and implementation of true mother–infant couplet care. Mothers and their newborns were no longer separated at birth. Patient advisors gave significant input on our infant security system. Patient education handouts and discharge instructions were redesigned to be user friendly and approved for use by our patient advisors. Specific comments on our Press Ganey surveys were examined. Patients and their families were routinely asked during bedside report and leadership rounds what could be done to “wow” them during their inpatient stay. Follow-up phone calls and patient satisfaction surveys have demonstrated that PFCC does make a difference.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Adoption of a patient-/family-centered care philosophy is pivotal to improving patient satisfaction and potentially affecting health care outcomes. In an academic institution, ensuring the involvement of patients and families in student and resident education can have a lasting effect on one's health care career.