Better Together: Partnering with Families e-Collaborative

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement invited expressions of interest from healthcare delivery organizations to participate in a quality improvement e-collaborative focused on the adoption and implementation of family presence policies.

Family presence policies enable patients to designate family members to have unrestricted access to them while they are in hospital.

While 90 percent of surveyed health sector professionals and the general public are supportive of family presence policies, in 2015 only 25 percent of large Canadian acute-care hospitals received top marks for having visiting policies that promote family presence and patient-and family-centred care1. This free e-collaborative was delivered online from May 2016 to March 2017 through webinars and other modalities conducive to distance learning.

Did you know?

  • A family presence policy is an innovation that enables patients to designate one or more family members as partners in care who have unrestricted access to their loved one during hospitalization.
  • Evidence shows that family presence can improve patient experience and outcomes.

Collaborative benefits:

  • Guidance and support with the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of a family presence policy;
  • Access to online learning tools and a network of experienced faculty and coaches;
  • Support for performance measurement, evaluation and sustainability of the policy change;
  • Peer-to-peer networking and exchange to foster cross-team learning and sharing;
  • Guided and self-directed learning opportunities;
  • Introduction to other practices that support partnership with patients, families and caregivers; and
  • Recognition as a leading Canadian organization in patient-and family-centred care through fulfillment of the Better Together pledge.

About the Better Together: Partnering with Families e-Collaborative

In Canada and internationally, many healthcare organizations have identified patient- and family-centred care as an organizational priority. However, organizations continue to struggle with translating this philosophy of care into concrete policies and practices. Traditional visiting hours that restrict the presence of family members at the bedside of patients can act as a barrier to patient- and family-centred care, affecting quality, costs and outcomes. Leading healthcare organizations in Canada and other countries are implementing family presence policies, which enable patients to designate family members and loved ones who can stay by their side 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This e-collaborative built on the momentum generated by the Better Together: Partnering with Families campaign by offering CFHI’s expertise in quality improvement to assist healthcare organizations with implementing a family presence policy.


1 Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (2015). Much More Than a Visit: A Review of Visiting Policies in Select Acute Care Hospitals. Ottawa.