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Partnering With Family Members to Improve the Intensive Care Unit Experience

Gooding, Tracy MBA; Pierce, Becky RN; Flaherty, Kathleen BS

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e318260696a
Trauma: Innovations in ICU Management

Family members play an important and varied role in a patient's health care experience, ranging from emotional support to surrogate health care decision making. The family role can be substantial in the intensive care unit setting, as the patients rely upon family members to make health care decisions for them. The core components of patient- and family-centered care include information sharing, a welcoming environment, respect for individual values and needs, comfort and support, and providing a helpful framework for developing a productive partnership with family members. Involving family members in daily operations and providing services that make it easier for family members to participate in the care process result in the best possible care for their loved one. Including the family perspective in quality improvement initiatives better ensures that any changes made will result in better care for future patients and family members.

Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.

Correspondence: Tracy Gooding, MBA, Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Ave, Box 359942, Seattle, WA 98104 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.