Principles for Patient and Family Partnership in Care: An American College of Physicians Position Paper

Ann Intern Med. 2018 Dec 4;169(11):796-799. doi: 10.7326/M18-0018. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


In this position paper, the American College of Physicians (ACP) examines the rationale for patient and family partnership in care and reviews outcomes associated with this concept, including greater adherence to care plans, improved satisfaction, and lower costs. The paper also explores and acknowledges challenges associated with implementing patient- and family-centered models of care. On the basis of a comprehensive literature review and a multistakeholder vetting process, the ACP's Patient Partnership in Healthcare Committee developed a set of principles that form the foundation for authentic patient and family partnership in care. The principles position patients in their rightful place at the center of care while acknowledging the importance of partnership between the care team and patient in improving health care and reducing harm. The principles state that patients and families should be treated with dignity and respect, be active partners in all aspects of their care, contribute to the development and improvement of health care systems, and be partners in the education of health care professionals. This paper also recommends ways to implement these principles in daily practice.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Professional-Family Relations*