Better Together

...because loved ones are partners in care
Family presence enables patients to designate partners in care who are welcome in the hospital 24 hours a day.

The Better Together campaign called on hospitals and healthcare delivery organizations nationwide to take the pledge and implement family presence policies as an important step toward delivering more patient and family-centred care, where families are recognized as allies for quality and safety. Since CFHI sparked the Better Together movement in Canada, there has been a surge in the number of hospitals, healthcare organizations and health authorities that have adopted or pledged to review family presence policies including 24/7 visiting hours.

Family presence policies enable patients to designate family members and loved ones who can stay by their side 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This approach creates a welcoming environment that enables family and caregivers to more fully participate in patient care by providing emotional support, being present for physician rounds and helping with transitions in care.

CFHI is proud to share that, by the end of the campaign, 53 Canadian organizations had taken the Better Together pledge.

Taking the Better Together pledge consisted of at least one of the following:

  • A commitment by healthcare leaders to review their organization’s current visiting hour policies and website with input from patients, families, clinicians and other staff, as well as those who have direct experience with ‘visiting’ policies;
  • A commitment to develop a family presence policy; and
  • A commitment to implement family presence policies and monitor impacts.

Better Together originated with the Institute for Patient-and-Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) and with support from 13 Canadian organizations. CFHI provided support to pledging organizations with a change package of resources to help organizations adopt family presence policies.

For more information about Better Together, or starting your own family presence journey, we have resources to help.

Better Together Stories

Les histories de Meilleurs ensembleHospitals and healthcare organizations across the country have quickly realized the many benefits from implementing family presence policies. Hear from patients, families and health leaders how these policies have had a transformational effect on culture and care.
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Pledging Organizations

Better Together Pledging OrganizationsThanks to all the hospitals, health regions and organizations across the continuum of care that have taken the Better Together pledge.
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Former Kingston General Hospital President and CEO Leslee Thompson discusses the importance of family presence policies.

Kerry Stewart, Patient Experience Advisor at Kingston General Hospital, talks about the difference family presence policies have made for patients.


Man in hospital bed with wife at his side

Family Presence at Kingston General Hospital.