Patient and Family-centered Care

Learn more about the Critical Care Center's unique approach to patient and family-centered care and volunteer opportunities.

  • For volunteer opportunities call 617-726-3370

Patient and Family-centered Care

Family-centered, community-based, coordinated care was championed by the office of the U.S. Surgeon General in the late 1980’s as a nation-wide, systematic approach to improve care for children. The benefits of this holistic approach are now widely appreciated, for pediatric and adult patients alike. Historically, ICUs have been slow to accommodate the needs of patients’ families because of concerns regarding ICU staff convenience or fear of family-initiated disruptions. Happily, a growing literature strongly supports the patient- and family-centered approach to ICU care, as it improves communication and patient outcomes, including higher patient and family satisfaction. The Critical Care Center strongly supports this movement, motivating recent renovations to include spacious and comfortable waiting areas accompanied by overnight accommodations for immediate family (for example, the new Neurosciences ICU in the Lunder Building). Family participation on rounds and unrestricted visiting policies are encouraged as we have found that they improve family satisfaction and may secondarily improve patient outcomes.

As part of the quality assurance and process improvement imperative, the Critical Care Center uses several validated tools to assess family satisfaction. A few of which include:

  • The Critical Care Family Satisfaction Survey (CCFS)
  • Family Satisfaction in the Intensive Care Unit Questionnaire (FS-ICU)
  • The Critical Care Family Needs Inventory (CCFNI)

Volunteer to Help

The Mass General Critical Care Center partners with the new Mass General Patient-Family Advisory Council (PFAC) to further our commitment to incorporating the voices of our patients and families into ICU decision making. Nationally, hospitals are partnering with patients and their families to incorporate their perspectives in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care. The new Mass General PFAC will complement existing infrastructure by exploring and helping to share best practices in patient- and family-centered care across the organization; creating a pool of patient/family advisors to serve on new and existing committees and work groups throughout the institution; and serving as an advisory resource for staff, physicians, administrators and the community. Our goal is to have a broad and diverse patient/family representation of individuals with the following characteristics:

  • Current experience as a Mass General patient/family member
  • Willingness to work in an advisory role
  • Ability to share insights constructively
  • Good listening skills
  • Ability to interact well with groups of people
  • Ability to volunteer time for monthly council meetings or potential committees

If you are interested in participating, or simply learning more about the opportunities, please contact:

Robin Lipkis-Orlando, RN
Director of Patient Advocacy