Purpose and scope
This guideline promotes evidence-based practices to help nurses and members of their interdisciplinary teams become more adept at practising person- and family-centred care. This evidence-based approach, combined with a perspective that recognizes the place of the person at the centre of health care, will improve individuals’ experience of and satisfaction with the care and services provided within the health system.
The guideline applies to all domains of nursing practice, including clinical, administration and education. It aims to foster empowering relationships with persons accessing care and their families, in order to optimize health and wellness over their life continuum.
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. (2015). Person- and Family-Centred Care. Toronto, ON: Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
Do you want to learn about and implement the most- up-to-date evidence-based recommendations on this topic with your colleagues? Download and share the full best practice guideline (BPG), Person- and Family-Centred Care.
See below for a snapshot of the recommendations from this BPG. We strongly suggest you review the full BPG before implementing the recommendations and good practice statements. The BPG also includes further resources to support implementation and evaluation.
Recommendation 1.1: Establish a therapeutic relationship with the person using verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to build a genuine, trusting, and respectful partnership.
Recommendation 1.2: Build empowering relationships with the person to promote the person’s proactive and meaningful engagement as an active partner in their health care.
Recommendation 1.3: Listen and seek insight into the whole person to gain an understanding of the meaning of health to the person and to learn their preferences for care.
Recommendation 1.4: Document information obtained on the meaning and experience of health to the person using the person’s own words.
Recommendation 2.1: Develop a plan of care in partnership with the person that is meaningful to the person within the context of their life.
Recommendation 2.2: Engage with the person in a participatory model of decision making, respecting the person’s right to choose the preferred interventions for their health, by:
- Collaborating with the person to identify their priorities and goals for health care;
- Sharing information to promote an understanding of available options for health care so the person can make an informed decision; and
- Respecting the person as an expert on themselves and their life.
Recommendation 3.1: Personalize the delivery of care and services to ensure care is not driven from the perspective of the health-care provider and organization, by collaborating with the person on:
- Elements of care;
- Roles and responsibilities in the delivery of care; and
- Communication strategies.
Recommendation 3.2: Partner with the person to tailor strategies for self-management of care that are based on the person’s characteristics and preferences for learning.
Recommendation 4.1: Obtain feedback from the person to determine the person’s satisfaction with care and whether the care delivered was person and family-centred.
Recommendation 5.1: Educate health-care providers at a minimum on the following attributes of person- and family-centred care to improve the person’s clinical outcomes and satisfaction with care:
- Communication; and
- Shared decision making.
Recommendation 5.2: Educational institutions incorporate this Guideline into the curricula for nurses and, as appropriate, for other health-care providers.
Recommendation 6.1: Create an organizational culture that exemplifies its commitment to person- and family-centred care by:
- Demonstrating leadership and commitment to this approach to care;
- Involving the person in co-designing health programs and services; and
- Building healthy work environments for all health-care providers.
Recommendation 6.2: Design an environment that demonstrably improves the person’s experience of health care by:
- Creating healing environments;
- Being flexible and partnering to personalize care routines;
- Improving access to care and services;
- Enhancing the continuity and coordination of care and services during transitions; and
- Providing continuity of caregivers.
Recommendation 6.3: Collect continuous feedback from the person to determine whether their experience with health care and services was person- and family-centred, and utilize this feedback to make improvements at all levels of the health system.
Recommendation 6.4: Government agencies and regulatory bodies must monitor, measure, and utilize information from organizations regarding the person’s experience of health care to improve health-system performance.
Disclaimer: These guidelines are not binding for nurses, other health providers or the organizations that employ them. The use of these guidelines should be flexible and based on individual needs and local circumstances. They constitute neither a liability nor discharge from liability. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents at the time of publication, neither the authors nor the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) gives any guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in them or accepts any liability with respect to loss, damage, injury or expense arising from any such errors or omission in the contents of this work.
Current edition published 2015.
About the next edition:
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is developing a third edition of this best practice guideline (BPG), with the working title Person- and Family- Centred Care. The anticipated publication date is 2024.
This new edition will revise and combine the previous edition BPGs:
- Person and Family- Centred Care (2015),
- Establishing Therapeutic Relationships (2002 with 2006 revision), and
- Strengthening and Supporting Families through Expected and Unexpected Life events (2002 with 2006 revision).