Top Ten Quality Indicators of an Effective Patient- and Family-Centered Physician

Patients and family members have identified numerous traits as important to experiencing a high quality of care. Highlighted below are some of the core indicators to determine if your health care provider is an effective practitioner of quality care.

Does your physician exhibit these behaviors?

  1. Listens to all symptoms before making a diagnosis.

  2. Is knowledgeable about the patient's condition; past and current status.

  3. Is very knowledgeable about diagnosis and current treatments; staying up to date on current medications and recent research.

  4. Encourages patients and family members to ask questions and participate in the care experience.

  5. Gives options for solving problems and suggests ways in which patient and family member can participate in care.

  6. Collaborates with patient and family member in seeking additional solutions.

  7. Volunteers information about agencies that provide additional services and knows how to access those services.

  8. Uses familiar terminology or carefully defines new terms; checks that patient and family member understands.

  9. Takes time and does not seem rushed.

  10. Follows through on care and outcomes.

Research has shown that the more patients and their family members are involved with their own health care, the more improved are the health outcomes and the satisfaction level of the patient. For a more complete survey to assess your care provider, please visit

(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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