WIHI: Recognizing Person- and Family-Centered Care: Always Events at IHI

​Date: September 26, 2013


  • Pat Rutherford, RN, MS, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
  • Martha Hayward, Lead for Public and Patient Engagement, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
  • Kristina Andersen, BSN, RN, SMART Discharge Project Coordinator, Anne Arundel Medical Center
  • Cherry R. Shogren, MSN, RN, Director of Clinical Professional Development, UnityPoint Health (Des Moines, Iowa)

We have the Picker Institute to thank for some of our earliest understandings of patient-centered care. Besides coining the phrase itself, Picker was among the first to hold health care accountable for its actions according to principles such as listening to patients, respecting their knowledge and emotional needs, welcoming family and friends into the decision process, and more. To better learn what’s possible and measurable, in 2010 Picker developed Always Events — a set of reliable practices that should happen for all patients, all the time — and a recognition program to spotlight organizations committed to this level of transformation.

Picker handed over the reins of Always Events to IHI in January 2013, and now IHI is set to re-launch the program. You can get a first look at what’s in store on this WIHI. Martha Hayward and Barbara Balik have been hard at work developing guidelines that pick up where Picker’s efforts left off, in hopes of jumpstarting many more innovative approaches to patient engagement worthy of recognition. The SMART Discharge Protocol at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, is a strong example of the type of stand-out work IHI will be looking for. Kristina Andersen, the project’s lead, will be on hand to explain its components and the impact a better discharge process is having on emergency department use and readmissions.

What’s now thought of as patient- and family-centered care, or person- and family-centered care, continues to be a work in progress, as does better understanding of the impact patient engagement has on outcomes, safety, reducing waste, and overall quality across the continuum of care. The only way to pinpoint what’s most effective is to get involved in the work itself. That’s the spirit behind the re-launch of Always Events at IHI, and we hope you’ll listen to this WIHI and take part in the initiative.



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