At Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, we understand that family members know their loved one better than anyone else. Informed, involved patients and families can offer important information, make better decisions and improve the quality and safety of care. We provide information that patients and families need to make educated decisions about treatment. At the same time, we rely on personal input from families, we support the choices and we respect the decisions patients and families make.
The partnership between patients, families and healthcare providers is based on the understanding that everyone's role is important. What we do together is greater than what any of us can do alone. Involving families in the patient's care supports the healing process and can improve the outcome. This belief shapes our work, our services and the care we provide.
Patient- and family-centered care means involving and responding to patients and families. To do this, we:
- Recognize that each patient and family is unique
- Provide open, honest communication
- Involve the patient and family in the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care
- Offer a welcoming, supportive environment
- Provide timely and expert care
- Provide access to information and resources
At Smilow Cancer Hospital, "family" is defined by the patient. Families can nurture, give care and participate in the healing process.
Patient- and Family-Centered Care Concepts
Dignity and Respect
We try to listen and honor patient and family perspectives, choices and backgrounds. We try to identify strengths in every patient and family. We try to be flexible with our policies and procedures by tailoring care to the needs, beliefs, and religious and cultural values of each person. Patient- and family-centered care requires mutual trust and respect.
We try to share complete, accurate, timely and unbiased information with patients and families. Information sharing builds trust and strengthens the partnership between patients, families and caregivers. Information helps patients and their families make choices and assume responsibility for their own care.
We partner with patients and families in the plan of care. We respect and value the understanding families bring to this partnership. We also try to involve patients and families when we create and evaluate hospital policies and procedures.
We offer patients and families choices about approaches to care and we support them in the level of decision-making and participation they choose.
Patient and Family Advisors
We like to involve patients and family members in our Patient- and Family-Centered Care Program. One way is to volunteer to become a Patient and Family Advisor. Patient and Family Advisors help bring the patient and family perspective to our work at Smilow Cancer Hospital. Our patient and family volunteers work with staff and other patients and families on a variety of projects and programs to help improve our service and the healthcare experience for everyone.
If you would like more information about becoming involved with the Patient- and Family-Advisor Program, please email the program or call Susan Kamm, Manager, Patient- and Family-Centered Care Services, at 203.688.3299.
The Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care