Family members and loved ones are more than just guests and emergency contacts. Across all points of care, they are important in decision making, care planning, and recovery. In a hospital, family members are rarely optional - and their needs are just as important as those of the patient. These needs often extend outside the walls of the hospital and require more than just clinical resources. Patient and family centered care has come to be understood as encompassing four core concepts of Dignity and Respect, Information Sharing, Participation, and Collaboration. Meeting the needs of patients and their loved ones is critical in the continuum of care and involves each of these core concepts.

With some of the new healthcare legislation already going into effect, more and more facilities are finding out that patient satisfaction is not just a nice gesture—it’s good business. By tracking patient satisfaction through measures like HCAHPS and other survey tools, the new reforms will determine a level of reimbursement based on service.