Nonprofit offers services for family-centered care

No need to go it alone

The Institute for Family-Centered Care, a nonprofit agency in Bethesda, MD, provides consultation, training, and technical assistance to hospitals embarking on a process of family-centered change. Specialists from the institute work with hospital personnel, patients, and families to develop a plan that reflects the priorities and needs of each institution. Below are the services the institute provides:

• On-site consultation

Many hospitals request an initial on-site consultation as they begin an assessment process and develop a plan for change. This usually is a two- or three-day visit conducted by a consumer/professional team from the institute. The consultation includes an introductory presentation on family-centered care for key personnel. The institute also can provide a follow-up written report with recommendations for action.

• Document review

Institute staff review key documents for consistency with family-centered philosophy and principles, which include:

— mission and vision statements;

— hospital or departmental philosophy statements;

— recent annual report;

— hospital strategic plan;

— design plans or drawings;

— descriptions of staff positions (e.g., for nurse, social worker, physician, unit clerk);

— sample performance appraisal forms;

— charting forms;

— patient/family information materials;

— patient/family satisfaction questionnaires;

— continuous quality improvement standards and indicators;

— critical pathway or care maps;

— history and accomplishments of a family advisory council or a description of other ways that patients and families serve as advisors to the hospital.

• Comprehensive assessment

Institute staff conducts a comprehensive assessment of current hospital policies, programs, and practices. This process involves systematic data collection from hospital personnel at all levels, as well as from patients and families served by the hospital. The assessment is conducted over several months and a number of on-site visits are usually necessary. As part of the assessment, the institute can provide a written report and a detailed action plan.

• Consultation and technical assistance

Institute staff can provide consultation and support to hospitals at selected intervals throughout the change process on-site or by telephone.

• Product development

The institute helps hospitals develop materials for staff, patients, and families that reflect family-centered principles.

• Training and education

The institute provides workshops, seminars, inservices, train-the-trainer sessions, and customized training program development. Training and education areas include:

— family-centered principles and practice;

— family/professional collaboration;

— the development of family advisory boards;

— The process of change;

— facilitating family-to-family support;

— family-centered communication;

— building effective multidisciplinary, family/professional teams;

— delivering services across cultures;

— developing linkages with community organizations;

— family-centered environments;

— family-centered care for physicians and physician educators;

— family-centered personnel policies and practices;

— family-centered charting and documentation.

• Conference planning

Institute staff plans and conducts retreats for hospital personnel, the governing board, or other small groups, and organizes communitywide conferences on family-centered issues.

• Environment and design

Institute specialists offer expertise in environment and design issues affecting health care facilities. Consultation and technical assistance services are available in the following areas:

— creating family-centered, developmentally supportive environments;

— building effective planning teams;

— strategies for involving families in the design process;

— identifying design goals;

— designing and allocating space to support family-centered principles;

— unique needs and special requirements of health care facilities serving special populations;

— trends in health care design;

— facilitating the selection of sites to visit.

• Research

The institute works with hospitals to develop evaluation and research initiatives to measure family-centered change within the institution and with other hospitals engaged in similar efforts.


For more information about services provided, contact:

Institute for Family-Centered Care, 7900 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 405, Bethesda, MD 20814. Telephone: (301) 652-0281. Web site: