Patients And Families As Partners: A Checklist For Attitudes

Health professionals across all disciplines and in all care environments have the opportunity to advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care. They do so by welcoming patients and families as partners in care — acknowledging patient and family expertise and strengths, encouraging their input, and acknowledging the value of their observations and perceptions. Does your health care provider incorporate patient- and family-centered care values in his/her practice?

  1. Does my physician believe that patients and their family members bring unique expertise to the health care experience?

  2. Does my physician believe in the importance of patient and family participation in decision making at the program and policy level?

  3. Does my physician believe that patient and family perspectives and opinions are as important as professionals?

  4. Does my physician believe that patients and families bring a critical element to the team that no one else can provide?

  5. Does my physician consistently let others know that the insights of patients and families are valued?

  6. Does my physician work to create an environment in which patients and families feel supported and comfortable enough to speak freely?

  7. Does my physician listen respectfully to the opinions of patients and their family members?

  8. Does my physician believe that patients and families can look beyond their own experiences?

  9. Does my physician clearly state what is required and expected of patients and families as a member of the care team?

  10. Does my physician help patients and families set clear goals for their role?

(These "Top Tens" and Checklists are adapted from Jeppson, E. Thomas, J. (1994). Essential Allies: Families as Advisors, courtesy of the Institute for Family-Centered Care, Bethesda, MD.)

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