Strengthening the Partnership Between Patients, Families and their Health-Care Providers
Studies have shown that hospitals that include families in their care teams achieve better outcomes for their patients – and when parents feel informed and empowered, they feel more confident and better prepared to care for their child during and after the hospital stay. Also, respecting the experience and knowledge families bring to the healthcare encounter is simply the right way to go.
That’s why Hopkins Children’s has long partnered with parents in taking care of their children and creating a family-friendly children’s hospital, which has resulted in a string of earlier successes. But changes in pediatric medicine, including more-complex care, have prompted another look at our relationship with families and a new initiative aimed at strengthening that relationship and creating a culture that not only invites but encourages family participation.
Here we share with you the core concepts of our new Patient- and Family-Centered Care initiative, our goals and achievements thus far, stories about our patient families and news related to the initiative, the family and Hopkins Children's staff members who make up our steering committee and subcommittees, resources for learning more about patient- and family-centered care today, and contact information for families and professional staff interested in participating in the initiative.
Parents in the Loop of Their Child’s Hospital Care
The mother stands outside her son’s hospital room, exhaustion etched on her face. For over a week, her athletic teenager’s body has been failing, stricken suddenly by a mysterious lung ailment that doctors have yet to diagnose. Her solace, if there is any, is moments like these. A young Hopkins resident has just approached her and asked if she’d like to join the team of a half-dozen physicians rounding on her child’s case. She gratefully accepts the invitation.
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A Parent's Story
After his son spent the first 2 1/2 months of his life in intensive care, Robert Hicks had to share his experience with the people who cared for him. All seemed well when he took his wife to Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Md., to give birth to their son. But when the newborn showed signs of aspirating meconium – the green fecal material produced in the intestines before birth – he was rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit. There Hicks found his son, Robert Hicks III, on a respirator.
Learn More About A Parent's Story