When families are involved in their children's healthcare, the results are clear: better health outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. Family-centered care is an approach in patient care that promotes the health and well-being of children and their families through a respectful family-professional partnership. This approach relies on families, physicians, staff, and administrators working together to care for children.
At the Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health, we provide family-centered care through collaborative efforts between families, the patient's healthcare team, and Hospital administration. We strive to improve support systems by supplying families with all of the information and guidance they need so they can care for their children with confidence, and to create open channels of communication between you and your child's healthcare team.
In October 2006, the Department of Pediatrics at the Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health began to implement family-centered care. The Family-Centered Care (FCC) Committee, established in November 2006, has 33 members, representing physicians, nurses, social workers, and Child Life Specialists in the Department of Pediatrics and the Burn Center, as well as parents. The Committee, which is chaired by Nena Osorio, MD, meets monthly. Its role includes recommending and implementing changes in procedures and policies, conducting skills and self-awareness trainings, and mediating roadblocks to the effective establishment of family-centered care.
The goal of the Family-Centered Care (FCC) Committee is to institute and strengthen family-centered care using four essential principles:
Collaboration: Family and professionals work together in the best interest of the child and family. As the child grows, she/he assumes a partnership role.
Respect: Everyone respects the skills and expertise brought to the relationship.
Trust: Trust is acknowledged and fundamental.
Communication/Information Sharing: Communication and information sharing are open and objective. Participants make decisions together and there is willingness to negotiate.
To further promote family-centered care, family-centered rounds are conducted on many units. During family-centered rounds, parents are invited to listen to the healthcare team discuss their child's care plan, share any recent observations of their child that concern them, and ask questions about their child's care. Since there is limited time during rounds, parents can request a meeting with the doctors later in the day to discuss their child's care plan in more detail.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to be a part of the care plan for their child. If you would like to participate in family-centered rounds, let your child's nurse know each day.
The Pediatric Support Team at the Komansky Center for Children's Health provides additional support for patients with chronic, life-limiting, or terminal illnesses, their families, and the staff members caring for them. The Pediatric Support Team, which is comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, addresses the needs of these patients, helping to optimize quality of life.
When asked to consult, the team will meet with the family (and patient, if age-appropriate) to discuss issues related to quality of life, symptom control, and family/patient preferences regarding care at various stages of illness. The consultation will be documented in the medical record using an established tool known as the decision-making tool that will be available to all members of the healthcare team and to the patient/family.
For more information and to schedule a consultation, you can speak with your child's nurse or contact the Pediatric Support Team directly at (212) 746-6123 or by page: dial (212)746-6700 for pager system, Pager: 16383.