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Patient-and-Family Centered Care

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Augusta University Health is a pioneer in the concept of Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) - putting patients and families first by removing barriers and promoting a collaborative partnership between healthcare providers, patients, and families.


  • Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Augusta University Health believes that families are an extension of the patient, not an imposition. We don’t just have visitors in our hospitals; we have healthcare partners who are an integral part of the healthcare team. The more involved a family is, the more our quality and safety improve along with patient satisfaction. 

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#AUHealthAdvantage: PFCC

AU Health practices these four principles

  1. We treat patients and families with dignity and respect.
  2. We provide clear, comprehensive information in ways that are useful and empowering.
  3. We create opportunities for patients and families to participate in ways that enhance their control and independence.
  4. We ensure that collaboration is inherent in our policies, programs, education and delivery of care.

The AU Health Mission

Because we are an academic medical center with three missions – patient care, medical education, and research – we take a team approach to medicine, with you being the most crucial member of the team. Our team approach means you get better care and outcomes because of the number of individuals contributing their skills to solving your medical problems.

Molding the next generation of medical professionals

In addition to your attending physician and nurses, the team might also include a resident (who is a full-fledged doctor getting hands-on experience in a medical specialty) or a medical or nursing student. Most patients understand the value of training future doctors and nurses, but if you are uncomfortable with it, just let your nurse or physician know you don’t want students involved in your care.

  • Imagine a hospital that invites families to stay with their loved ones 24 hours a day, 7days a week, even in the intensive care unit (ICU)!
  • Or a hospital that involves patients and families in drafting policies that ensure patients’ needs and concerns are met.
  • Or a hospital that redesigns its physical structure with patients at the table, collaborating with architects, physicians, nurses and others.

This type of philosophy is known as Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC), and it is a trend that is being recognized and embraced by hospitals across the United States.  PFCC involves truly partnering with patients and families, not just involving them in decisions about their care, but also gaining the benefit of their help and insights to better plan, deliver, and evaluate that care. 

Augusta University Health System is recognized as a pioneer in Patient- and Family-Centered Care by the American Hospital Association and the Institute for Family-Centered Care.  AU Health began practicing PFCC in 1993 when it involved patients and family members in the planning and architectural design of the Children's Hospital of Georgia. Since that time, numerous other efforts that reflect PFCC have been initiated.

Patients’ perspectives were incorporated in the redesign of several areas in the adult hospital, including the Breast Health Center, our PET/CT unit, and a Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, as examples. The redesign of these units created warm and welcoming spaces to help increase patient comfort, privacy and convenience.


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