Acknowledging the role a patient’s family plays in their at-home care is one of the keys to ensuring a quick and speedy post-surgical recovery.
That’s why it’s in the best interest of ASCs to take a collaborative approach to patient care — one that considers the whole family and actively engages them in the care planning and caregiving process.
To implement a successful family-centered care strategy, the American Medical Association recommends taking these critical steps:
1. Talk to Designated Family Members at Appointments
Don’t ignore family members that attend appointments with your patient. Family members are an excellent source of information that health care providers can use to better treat the patient. According to the AMA, “Family members can provide information missing from medical charts and can recognize and speak up about errors in care delivery.”
2. Encourage Health Literacy Among Family Members
You already know how important it is to educate your patients on things like post-op instructions or the adverse side effects of their medications. But, the AMA encourages health care providers to also educate accompanying family members. They suggest, “Providing information in terms family members can understand and encouraging families to participate in the care of their loved ones can result in improved patient outcomes.” Then, go one step further and encourage the family member to restate the information you share to ensure understanding and eliminate confusion.
3. Respect Family Culture & Values
Language barriers, cultural beliefs and health literacy are all important considerations health care providers should keep in mind when communicating with family members. The AMA says, “Take time to understand any influences of language, health literacy, or social, educational, or cultural factors on patients or families.” Whenever possible, offer assistance for family members whose preferred language is not English or who have sensory or communication impairments.
By taking these key steps to collaborate with families, you send an important message to your patients that support is a critical component of their care. And, feeling that support, your patients are more likely to comply with their treatment plan and reap the benefits of improved health outcomes.
We Want to Hear From You!
Does your ASC make families feel like partners in the patient care process? If so, tell us how you do it in the comments below.