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Policies and Procedures: Patient and Family-Centred Care
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  • Country: Australia

Patient and Family Centred Care is a well-known concept in the healthcare sector.  PFCC offers a comprehensive approach to taking care of patients. It focuses on the value of working with families for better health outcomes. This care model enhances patient happiness, care quality and overall care quality.

The Australian healthcare system emphasizes following PFCC standards and procedures. This plan helps to provide care plans based on the patient's preferences. 

This sample covers the PFCC's principles and the essential elements. The sample covers the best practices in Australian healthcare settings and how students can follow them for better results. 

Principles of Family- and Patient-Centred Care

The PFCC model is based on some core principles. These principles act as a guide to professionals. They direct them on maintaining relationships with patients, and families. Below we have explained the principles of PFCC:

  • Respect and Dignity: It teaches us to acknowledge and respect different viewpoints. It focuses on considering the decisions, and ethical values of patients. 

  • Information sharing: PFCC also highlights the importance of sharing information.  It includes forwarding up-to-date and accurate details. Families should be familiar with the whole picture to make educated decisions.

  • Participation: The professionals should be encouraged to participate. They should interact with patients and families in participating freely. They can take in the decision-making and care processes.

  • Collaboration: The healthcare experts and families should communicate and coordinate. They work together on several events like planning, execution, and assessment of healthcare services.

Important Elements Of PFCC Policies and Procedures

Healthcare institutions must include PFCC in practice. They should follow the PFCC policies to provide holistic care. The professionals should be familiar with all the principles mentioned below:

  • Communication Strategies

  • Family Involvement in Care Planning

  • Patient and Family Education 

  • Environment of Care 

  • Feedback and Continuous Improvement

1. Communication Techniques

 Effective communication is a key element of PFCC. It focuses on Clear and compassionate interactions. It also teaches us to be culturally sensitive with patients and their families. The healthcare policy should focus on promoting honest and respectful communication. Here is how you can achieve it:  

  • Open Dialogue: The first step is to have honest communication. The conversation should be direct and deliver the message effectively.

  • Cultural competency: it refers to educating professionals to respect the different cultures. It helps them to recognize and honour differences. While communicating, professionals should be sensitive to these differences. It helps to know the preferred methods. 

  • Language Services: These are exclusive translation and interpretation services. It assists people who do not speak English as their native language. 

Family Involvement in Care Planning

Family participation is essential to effective treatment of patients. The healthcare policy should include family in the care planning process. This will lead to more satisfactory results. 
Here is how you can realise this goal:

  • Care conferences: The hospitals should set up regular meetings to go over treatment plans. It also helps to track the progress of patients' health.  It keeps all parties informed. 

  • Family Presence: The hospitals should acknowledge the role of family members. They should attend discussions where their advice is needed.  

  • Making Decisions: Hospitals should encourage families to take part in decision-making. They should honour their opinions and choices.

3. Patient and Family Education

Patients and families should be constantly educated. They should be educated on different medical diagnoses. The individuals should be informed about the treatments and care procedures. The right knowledge helps them to make the right choices. 

  • Educational Resources: The hospitals should have handy resources. There should be adequate educational resources. They should be easily available and easily understood. The material should be suitable for patients and their families.

  • Health Literacy: The healthcare policy should take initiatives to raise health literacy levels. They should assist families and patients in understanding medical instructions. 

  • Support Programs: There should be concrete counselling programs and support groups. The hospitals can organise workshops to assist patients. They are also a guide to help families manage health issues.

4. Environment of Care

Not just in policy, the hospitals should take necessary measures. The institutions should focus on creating an environment that supports PFCC. They should adopt a familiar attitude fitting to patients and families. 

  • Comfort and Privacy: There should be spaces that ensure patient comfort. Patient privacy and ease should be prioritised. The hospitals can first consult with the families and patients. Their input is useful in designing suitable spaces. 

  • Family amenities: It includes Offering comforts to relatives who remain with patients. It includes providing staff, family lounges, and sleeping quarters.

  • Accessibility: This step focuses on ensuring the facility is appropriate for persons with disability. The resources should be accessible to everyone. 

5. Feedback and Continuous Development

Continuous feedback helps to bring better results. In order to improve PFCC procedures, it is essential to provide regular feedback. Policies  can include: 

  • Surveys and Questionnaires: The facility can conduct Regular surveys. It helps to obtain input on the experiences of patients. It also helps to analyse how satisfactory the services were. 

  • Focus Groups: You can include p focus groups to talk about experiences. These are helpful to pinpoint areas that need improvement while providing care. 

  • Complaint Resolution: You can also create procedures to handle grievances. This will help to address issues brought up by patients. It ensures that all issues are handled in a timely and efficient manner.

Best Practices in Australian Healthcare Settings

Australian healthcare has adopted top-notch practices. These act as standard procedures to follow while providing care. 

The following are some examples of best practices:

1. Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital

The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne has adopted family-centered policies. They follow the standard principles in their practice. The procedures adopted by the hospital represent the interests of patients and their families. The hospital also has resources for education. It offers in-person workshops and online information portals. 

2. The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne

Alfred Hospital has also adopted a thorough PFCC framework. It often holds meetings with patients and their families. It extends training to staff to promote culturally sensitive communication. It has also established effective feedback systems.

The hospital has built suitable spaces and offers necessary amenities. A healthy set-up encourages family members to participate in patient care. These steps demonstrate the dedication of the Alfred Hospital to provide quality care under PFCC. 

3. Women's Hospital and Royal Brisbane

 The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital has put in place policies and practices to support PFCC. It guarantees adequate participation of families in decision-making processes. The hospital provides educational programs to enhance understanding of the treatment. It leads to more involvement in care. 


patient and family-centred care is a more inclusive approach in healthcare. It helps to understand the patient's priorities. The application of PFCC requires establishing a caring environment.

Healthcare organizations in Australia can improve patient experiences and outcomes by adopting PFCC. They can focus on communication, family inclusion, education, accommodating care environments, and ongoing feedback. This will lead to significant improvements in care quality. The examples above highlight how Australian healthcare facilities have benefitted from PFCC.  

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