Author(s): Elizabeth Ahmann, Deborah Dokken
The 5th International Conference of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC), held in Washington, DC, from June 4–6, 2012, offered an opportunity for almost 1,000 conference participants to share and learn about exciting new patient- and family-centered initiatives occurring across the U.S. and in many other countries. One focus addressed by keynote and plenary speakers, as well as numerous conference sessions and poster presentations, was how nurses and other health care professionals can encourage patients and family members to become partners with their health care teams. Various presenters shared strategies ranging from initial approaches to acknowledging family members as part of the team and offering simple, non-threatening roles in care provision, to policies and approaches inviting increased participation in health care encounters, to higher level involvement in the care planning process, and to partnership roles extending beyond care of the individual child and family. A wealth of ideas can be implemented at various levels by individual nurses, units, and health care institutions.