Strategies to Enhance Family-Centered Care in Primary Care Practices
For Your Families and Children with Special Needs
Help families prepare for their visit with you and for after the visit
- Scheduling adequate time for the visit and at a time when the child will be at his/her best
- Determine if there are special issues that require limited time in the waiting room/immediate access to examination room
- Encourage writing questions for the visit down and prioritizing the top issues
Bright Futures Encounter forms may be useful. (Previews for Primary Care and for Families)
- Write down information and instructions for the family to take with them after the visit
Provide families with information about signs and symptoms which require immediate attention;
make sure they have a plan to connect with health care services 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year.
Examine your practice for ease of accessibility for patients with disabilities
See Universal Design information
Give the child a method to communicate preferences and health care choices
See Transition Top Ten Tips by Patti Hackett
Provide parents with tools to organize health information, optimize a medical office visit, and optimize communication with other providers in the community
- Care Organizer
- Emergency Medical Forms:
- Medical Visit Checklist
Anticipate and prepare for transitions in health care, especially adolescent to adult
- Transition Timelines
- Transition Workbooks – Children’s Medical Services Network
Link families to information about their child’s condition
- MedlinePlus – National Institutes of Health’s Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. Also in Spanish / espanol.
- HealthyChildren.org – Information for Families from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Also in Spanish / Espanol.
- National Organization for Rare Diseases
- Medical Librarians – Consumer health libraries in Washington State providing free services to local residents.
For Your Practice
Use Medical Home Tools to guide office practices and visit format for families of CSHCN
- Medical Home Family Index
- Family Needs Assessment
- Culturally Effective care assessment
Obtain feedback (positive and negative, suggestions for change) about the practice from families
- Feedback questionnaires
- Focus groups
- Parent Advisory group (see below)
- Parent participation in Quality Improvement team
Connect and follow-up with consultants, sub-specialists, and other community providers involved in the care of the child.
- Obtain feedback from the family about services received from the consultants and community providers.
Consider an Electronic Medical Record – as the formatting for Pediatric populations improves, the EMR has the potential to streamline record-keeping, care plan development, medication management, determination of patient problem prevalence for practice management and billing, and accessibility of the medical record between offices.
- Some EMRs have ability to make referrals electronically (Pointshare system) by automatically faxing information to the provider. (‘Families don’t call and say, ‘The specialist didn’t get your referral,’ any more!)
- Meditech computer system in the Spokane hospitals allows electronic access to patient record from hospital visits – e.g. if they were in the ER the night before you can access that information.
- Ability to sign medical record electronically is labor-saving!
Consider ways to provide case management/care coordination services in your practice setting.
Practices that do a better job in care coordination have: 1) Electronic Medical Records, and 2) Care coordination personnel on staff
- Managing the ‘NO SHOW’ patient
- Language Interpreters
Using Bilingual Staff as Interpreters
- Getting the most from language interpreters
- Electronic Medical Records
“How to Select an Electronic Medical Record System”
by Kenneth Adler, MD, MMM (Masters in Medical Management)