Patient and Family Engagement in Care

Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) describes an active partnership between patients, their families, and clinicians. PFE helps to foster trusting relationships by honoring patients’ needs, preferences, values, and decisions about their care and desired health outcomes. Partnering with patients, family members, and caregivers can improve patients’ choice of treatment options, medication use, and self-management practices. Practices can engage patients and families by:

  • Inviting patient and family voices in governance or operational decision-making (PFE 1)
  • Engaging patients in shared decision-making with clinicians (PFE 2)
  • Encouraging the activation of patients in their care, e.g., through gains in knowledge, skill, and confidence (PFE 3)
  • Increasing communication with patients via electronic tools, e.g., a patient portal or other e-connectivity technology (PFE 4)
  • Assessing and addressing patient health literacy issues (PFE 5)
  • Supporting patient and caregiver management of medications (PFE 6)