Person- and Family-Centered Care Initiatives

IHI embraces the voices of patients and their family members as essential to the improvement of health care systems. As recipients of health care services, patients and family members offer a perspective often overlooked when making change. The ranks of patient and family advisors are growing and opportunities to collaborate are increasing. 
IHI's ongoing work and programs focused on person- and family-centered care are aimed at building will and exploring best practices for engaging patients and family members in improving care, while building a network of patient and family advisors whose experience is combined with advanced skills in collaborating for improvement.

Always Events

In January 2013, IHI proudly assumes the body of work created by the Picker Institute known as Always EventsTM, defined as “those aspects of the patient and family experience that should always occur when patients interact with health care professionals and the delivery system.” The hallmark of each Always Event is that they have been identified by patients and their families as being essential to their positive experience of the health care system. IHI is looking forward to building on the integrity of work completed to further the Always Events principles in our improvement work.

The Conversation Project and Conversation Ready

The Conversation Project is a national media campaign committed to having all people’s end of life wishes expressed and respected. The Conversation Project will drive the social movement and provide tools and resources to encourage people to express their wishes, but it will be up to health care organizations to be ready to receive and respect those preferences.
In 2012, IHI and a group of end-of-life experts and concerned health care organizations launched the “Conversation Ready” initiative to be responsive to the work of The Conversation Project. Together, this group committed to establishing what it means for a health care organization to be “Conversation Ready." After initial work by a group of Pioneer Sponsors in 2012-2013, IHI launched a nine-month Community (that completed in 2014) which brought together pioneering organizations and expert faculty to move towards becoming Conversation Ready. The learning from this work was published in an IHI white paper, "Conversation Ready": A Framework for Improving End-of-Life Care.

Framework for Public and Patient Engagement

As the number of health reform initiatives grow so does the importance of engaging patients and the public in planning, design and execution of those initiatives.  Engaging patients in their own health care is recognized as significant component in increasing quality, reducing costs and making the patient safer. How do these different types of engagement differ and how do they work together toward systems change? IHI's Framework for Public and Patient Engagement offers a common language and vantage point to connect these efforts and achieve results.
IHI Framework for Public and Patient Engagement 
Patient Experience Collaboratives
When patients and their families feel respected, informed, and cared for in a timely way, it is reflected in the hospital’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) score. This patient-centeredness is also associated with hospitals that have safer, more effective care. Yet hospitals are also grappling with identifying those actions that will systematically lead to significant levels of improvement in this area. Leaders often comment, “There is so much to do — where do we start, and what will have the highest impact?” Working in 18-month Collaboratives, IHI and their partners address systemic and cultural changes that lead to sustainable improvement.

For more information, email Angela Zambeaux at