What is Patient- & Family-Centered Care?

In healthcare, we talk a lot about providing patient and family-centered care. Below you will see two definitions and some guiding principles that will help you understand where healthcare providers mean when they use these words.

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau states, “Family-Centered Care assures the health and well-being of children and their families through a respectful family-professional partnership. It honors the strengths, cultures, traditions, and expertise that everyone brings to this relationship. Family-Centered Care is the standard of practice which results in high quality services.”

The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care has a similar definition and describes Patient and Family Centered Care as, “…an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families. It redefines the relationships in health care.”


Core Concepts of Patient- and Family-Centered Care

  • Dignity and Respect. Health care providers listen to and honor patient and family views and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing. Health care providers share all information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information.
  • Patients and families are encouraged to participate in the patient’s care and are included in the decision-making process.
  • Patients, families, and the entire team of healthcare providers work together to ensure the best patient care. Furthermore, everyone collaborates along with the health care leaders to build policy and develop programs that support the vision of patient and family centered care.*

*Adapted from: Johnson, B. H. & Abraham, M. R. (2012). Partnering with Patients, Residents, and Families: A Resource for Leaders of Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Settings, and Long-Term Care Communities. Bethesda, MD: Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.


UF Quality and Patient Safety / Health Patient Experience

We strive to provide exceptional patient experience and ensure safe outcomes through a respectful partnership between our patients and their caregivers. Our Patient Experience team, part of the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, coordinates and directs collaborative activities, initiatives and projects to improve the delivery of patient and family-centered care.