Patient- and family-centered care and the role of the emergency physician providing care to a child in the emergency department

Pediatrics. 2006 Nov;118(5):2242-4. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-2588.


Patient- and family-centered care is an approach to health care that recognizes the role of the family in providing medical care; encourages collaboration between the patient, family, and health care professionals; and honors individual and family strengths, cultures, traditions, and expertise. Although there are many opportunities for providing patient- and family-centered care in the emergency department, there are also challenges to doing so. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians support promoting patient dignity, comfort, and autonomy; recognizing the patient and family as key decision-makers in the patient's medical care; recognizing the patient's experience and perspective in a culturally sensitive manner; acknowledging the interdependence of child and parent as well as the pediatric patient's evolving independence; encouraging family-member presence; providing information to the family during interventions; encouraging collaboration with other health care professionals; acknowledging the importance of the patient's medical home; and encouraging institutional policies for patient- and family-centered care.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Emergency Treatment / standards*
  • Family Health*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Pediatrics*