Partnering (with Patients and Families) to Advance the Practice of Patient-Centred Care

Partnering (with Patients and Families) to Advance the Practice of Patient-Centred Care

Lauza Saulnier

As winter approaches, it’s time to pull out your favourite hat and gloves and get ready for the cold weather. For the winter sports enthusiast, this invigorating season cannot come fast enough. For others, winter is a time for comfort, for quality time with family and friends, for reflection and kindness. The change in season is a great opportunity to embrace a change in focus, a new beginning, or a transformation.

The concept of patient-centred care has received increased attention in recent years and is now considered an essential dimension of high-quality health care. We are reminded of the basic requirements for supportive interactions with patients and their family members, such as kindness and effective communication, and are also reminded to promote the development of partnerships among patients, families, and health care providers.

The US Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care has defined patient- and family-centred care as “an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families.” Its core concepts are respect and dignity, information sharing, participation and collaboration (

The Accreditation Canada Qmentum program has been revised to incorporate client- and family-centred care as an integral component of quality care ( Accreditation Canada supports organizations in adopting principles and practices that shift providers from doing things to or for the client—where the health care provider’s perspective is dominant—to doing things with the client, such that the health care provider and the client have a true partnership. The new Qmentum standards identify 2 levels of engagement and collaboration:

  • In partnership with the client and family, where the team collaborates directly with each individual client and the client’s family to deliver care services

  • With input from clients and families, where an activity takes place with feedback from clients and families

In alignment with key health care organizations across Canada, the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) has integrated a patient-centred approach into its vision of “a thriving, progressive society, leading and inspiring excellent pharmacy practice integral to patient-centred care in hospitals and other collaborative healthcare settings” and into its Strategic Plan 2015–2018.

The CSHP Board approved the “Pharmacy Practice in Hospitals and Other Collaborative Health-care Settings: Position Statements” as an Official Publication at its fall meeting, held in Regina in October 2016. The statements in this document describe a desired and achievable pharmacy practice model that focuses on patient-centred care. This paper will serve as a foundation for the Excellence in Hospital Pharmacy program, a single, engaging initiative that will focus members’ efforts on improving patient health outcomes.



A growing body of evidence suggests that patient and family engagement may lead to better patient outcomes and organizational performance ( Pharmacists support patient- and family-centred care in many ways, from the system and departmental levels to direct interactions with patients and family members. To ensure maximal benefits and safety, it is essential that patients’ drug-related needs be coordinated across the care continuum.

CSHP has a long history of advancing pharmacy practice in hospitals and other collaborative health care settings. We will continue to guide change and support our members in developing and sustaining effective partnerships with patients and families to enhance quality, safety, and the experience of care.

Lauza Saulnier, BSc(Pharm), ACPR, is President and Vision Liaison for the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists

(Return to Top)

Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, VOLUME 69, NUMBER 6, November-December 2016

ISSN 1920-2903 (Online)
Copyright © 2019 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists