At UW Medical Center, we recognize the important role that patients and families play in health care. As we care for patients, we honor the strengths, priorities and preferences of each patient and family and involve them in medical decisions, every step of the way. One of the ways we do this is by offering relevant and timely information to our patients, such as treatment plans and test results.
Recognized by the Institute for Family Centered Care as one of 13 hospitals in the institute’s Profiles of Change section, UWMC puts patients first by embracing six concepts – information sharing, partnership and strengths, communication, choices, and respect.
We continually evaluate how we deliver care and seek ways to improve. To do that, we ask our patients and families for their input in several ways, including patient satisfaction surveys and patient advisory councils. Advisory councils, made up of patients, families and staff members, tell us about their experiences at UWMC and make collaborate with staff to make improvements.
These councils provide valuable feedback about patient and family experiences in these areas: inpatient, intensive care, outpatient, neonatal intensive care, pregnancy and childbirth, rehabilitation services, and transplant.
The NICU, for example, demonstrates patient and family centered care in which the healthcare team and parents partner to help babies get well. We can treat a baby’s physical problems, but the health-care team cannot nurture a baby in the same way parents can. The bonds tiny babies form with their parents help them heal faster and grow stronger. Based on parent suggestions, the staff increased communication, such as including parents in daily rounding.
Understanding, respecting, and involving patients in their own care is central to what we do at UWMC. By encouraging a partnership between the health-care team and patients and families, we ensure that each patient’s unique preferences and needs are considered.