Better Together Change Package

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in patient and family centred/partnered policies and practices. Despite many improvements in the implementation of family and caregiver presence in recent years, COVID-19 has challenged organizations across the country like never before to manage the tension between patient and family centred and partnered care, and infection control and safety.

Since 2010, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement has led and championed partnerships with patients, family and caregivers to improve quality across the continuum of care. In 2015 CFHI, in partnership with the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, led the Better Together Campaign to support healthcare organizations implement family presence policies across Canada. As part of the campaign, we also developed a Change Package to support the adoption of family presence and participation in acute care hospitals.

The Change Package is a guide for developing family presence policies that welcome and recognize families as essential partners in care. The recommendations and resources were drawn from evidence-informed patient- and family-centred care practices, improvement stories and research studies investigating the impacts of family presence and participation in healthcare.

While developed in 2015, the Change Package continues to provide a comprehensive change strategy that affirms a patient- and family-centred philosophy of care and the principles remain relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This resource can be used by leaders in the first phase of moving their organizations towards comprehensive family presence policies and practices, and by those resetting their contexts during and/or following the pandemic. Undertaking change of this magnitude requires commitment to continuous improvement, broad collaboration and inclusion of populations often not involved in change management processes, including patients, families, and caregivers.

Download the Change Package