Although much has been written about the needs of patients’ families and the need for change in practice, little has been published about how to make family-centered care work. This article offers practical suggestions for implementing or improving family-centered care in the critical care environment. The information presented here will be useful to clinicians and administrators who are committed to fostering family-centered care.

The needs of family members of critically ill patients are well established: the need for information, the need for reassurance and support, and the need to be near the patient.11–,77 Despite a wealth of evidence supporting these basic needs, many critical care units continue to struggle with implementing or maintaining family-centered critical care. Family-centered care moves beyond a theoretical recognition of the centrality of patients’ family members in healthcare. A family-focused...

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