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care partners, family-centered care, healing environments, partnership with patients and families



  1. Durston, Paula MN, RN, CNAA


This article describes one organization's effort to create a family-friendly environment that supports the choice of patients for involvement of a family member or loved one in their care. Changing a culture requires a process that can emotionally drive the caregivers to agree with the need to change and sustain the efforts over a long period. This project, Partners in Caring, describes the philosophy, the journey of changing a culture, and the results achieved over a 7-year period. The Partners in Caring philosophy is "a commitment between a patient, care partner and healthcare team to a relationship of hands-on support based on compassion, communication and choice empowering people to heal in a nurturing manner." This concept laid a foundation for the development of a new model of care, which is described. The implementation has resulted in an improved patient and staff satisfaction and a decrease in patient complaints.