Patient- and Family-Centered Care: Why YOU are the Most Important Part of the Healthcare System

| Live Your Life

What is Patient- and Family-Centered Care?

Patient- and Family-centered care (PFCC) can be defined in numerous ways depending on the source. In general, PFCC is a model for how healthcare services are delivered. The patient and their family, and the healthcare provider are partners as they collaborate and make decisions together. PFCC recognizes the unique role of family members in a patient’s life when it comes to caregiving and the care that occurs at home. PFCC looks holistically at the whole person when creating a healthcare plan individualized to each patient’s health needs, wants, and perspectives. This model offers you and your family a space to actively participate in directing your healthcare journey with support from your healthcare providers along the way.

What is Your Role?

As a patient, your role is to advocate for yourself during your visit with a healthcare provider. Here are 5 strategies for how to advocate for your health:

  1. Ask Questions: Prior to the appointment, create a list of questions and concerns you have for your healthcare provider. This way you aren’t as stressed during your appointment trying to remember important questions from earlier. If you feel misunderstood, try reiterating your questions or asking a follow-up question. 
  2. Take Notes: Trying to remember everything the provider is saying is difficult. Taking notes during the appointment ensures you will remember all the important information even after the appointment has ended.
  3. Bring a Trusted person: Bringing a trusted friend or family member can help ease any of your nervousness. Moreover, they are also another resource of questions that you may not have never thought of. Your trusted person can even help you take notes during the appointment.
  4. Ask for Clarification: There is no shame if you don’t understand what your provider is saying. Asking for clarification is the best way to improve communication with your provider and to make sure you are all on the same page about your health.
  5. Find a Provider that Makes You Feel Comfortable: Your health is an intimate topic that is shared between you and your provider. You have the right to find providers whom you are comfortable discussing personal information with. Once you find the right provider, advocating for your health becomes that much easier.

You are the most important part of your healthcare journey. Make sure you are an active participant in the decision-making process about your health as well as the creation of your plan of care. At Live Your Life, we will customize our services to meet your needs as a patient. Click here to learn more about us and contact us for a free consultation at either our Minnesota or Florida locations.


  1. “What Is Patient-Centered Care? – The New England Journal of Medicine.” NEJM Catalyst, 1 Jan. 2017,
  2. Clay, Aaron M, and Bridget Parsh. “Patient- and Family-Centered Care: It’s Not Just for Pediatrics Anymore.” AMA Journal of Ethics, vol. 18, no. 1, 2016, pp. 40–44.,
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