Patient and Family-Centered Care

By expanding the models of healthcare to better address patient needs in healthcare, the family unit was included in healthcare service provision. However, it should be understood that the entire concept of patient and family-centered healthcare developed from the growth of different segments of healthcare such as pediatrics, maternal care and end-of-life care.

Today, many studies show that patient-care needs to be holistic. Moreover, there needs to be a complete paradigm shift in the way patients are treated. This paradigm shift includes a change in the decision-making process, provision of healthcare services, inclusion of community groups in healthcare service provision and the consideration of the input of hospital staff.

Expectant mothers and patients suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS constitute among the most emotionally vulnerable patient groups. The inclusion of family members in their treatment is therefore important in their well-being.

The patient and family-centered care model has occasionally come under criticism from different quarters regarding its implementation, acceptability, efficiency and awareness. Financial concerns, philosophical concerns, acceptability and standardization concerns are among the major stakeholder issues surrounding its implementation

Healthcare professionals have an important ethical duty when they interact with patients and other individuals in the healthcare practice. However, the introduction of new healthcare models has further complicated the ethical and legal implications in healthcare. The cost of introducing and implementing patient and family-centered care is the main financial concern for administrators. The changing relationship in healthcare through the inclusion of family members and the strong emphasis on patients and families at the expense of nurses also pose other ethical and legal problems.

Possible solutions and current attempts

From the criticisms leveled against patient and family centered care, there has been a strong need to address its inherent challenges of implementation by devising sound policies and recommendations. Most of these suggestions have manifested in programs and policy recommendations which have been implemented in different parts of the world. Improving healthcare accreditation and including patient and family leaders in healthcare governance are just some of the current attempts healthcare institutions are working on to overcome implementation challenges of patient and family-centered care. The inclusion of community groups is also being pursued as a collaborative strategy to enhance community buy-in.

Specific plan and its likelihood of success

The person-centered healthcare model has been implemented with huge success in America and other parts of the world and therefore it forms the right framework for the implementation of healthcare plans


Focusing on the patient and family centered model is a sure way to improve the quality of healthcare

The success of the patient and family centered model mainly depends on stakeholder support (institutional support, staff buy-in, community participation and patient approvals)

Effective implementation of the patient and family centered model amounts to better decision-making, provision of quality healthcare, worker satisfaction and community support (Magee Women’s Hospital, 2011)


American Academy of Pediatrics. (2003). Family-Centered Care and the Pediatrician’s Role. Pediatrics, 112(3), 691 -696.

Conway, J. (2006). Partnering with Patients and Families To Design a Patient- and Family-Centered Health Care System. Wisconsin: Institute for Family-Centered Care.

Hughes, R. (2011). Overview and Summary: Patient-Centered Care: Challenges and Rewards. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16(2), 1.

Johnson, B. (2008). Partnering with patients and families to design a patient and family-centered health care system. Bethesda: Institute for patient- and family-centered care.

Kawasaki, M. (2005). Mothering With Breastfeeding And Maternal Care. Michigan: iUniverse.

Landgrave, T. (2004). The true cost of training staff. Web.

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