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UHC Benchmarking Project Focuses on Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Academic Medical Centers
Date:10/27/2009

OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Understanding the needs of patients and their families has several advantages for health care providers, including enhancing safety and helping to stem the increasing costs of medical errors and malpractice litigation. In fact, many academic medical centers are turning to implementation of patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) to improve the quality of care for patients.

The Institute for Family-Centered Care defines PFCC as "an innovative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care patients, families, and providers."(1) The core concepts of PFCC are dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration.(1)

Senior leaders at University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) member organizations are placing a greater emphasis on PFCC because the perceptions and experiences of patients and families are at the core of health care improvements. The experiences of patients and families affect the hospital's quality, safety, financial performance, and staff and customer satisfaction.

"Health care providers that want to successfully implement PFCC concepts must be committed to a true paradigm shift," said Kathy Vermoch, project manager in UHC's Benchmarking & Improvement Services program. "Within this paradigm shift, patients and families must be viewed as equal and important members of the health care team. Collaborative partnerships with patients and families are needed to improve safety, quality of care, and operational efficiency," she added.

Continuing its commitment to improve the quality of health care in the United States, UHC enlisted the help of 26 organizations to participate in a survey and assessment about PFCC practices and initiatives. The goals of this benchmarking project included helping UHC members:

  • Pinpoint their PFCC strengths and i
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SOURCE UHC
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