Tips for Building Partnerships Through Collaboration

Providing family-centered care for families whose children are patients of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a core value. As CHOP moves even more toward creating partnerships with families in all aspects of the care experience, we strive to include the family perspective when we develop or make changes to clinical programs, administrative activities, new or renovated facilities, policies, procedures and communication plans.

These guidelines will help you more effectively participate so the family point of view is represented as we shape CHOP projects.

  • Please collaborate with us by sharing your thoughts and opinions about all aspects of your experience at the Hospital and at our Care Network locations. You are an important member of your child’s healthcare team. Your perspective is invaluable.
  • Be open to helping if you are approached by a member of Children’s Hospital staff, either clinical or administrative, to join a group that is working on a new (or improved) service or program at CHOP.
  • Before agreeing to participate, find out the scope of the project and the anticipated time you are being asked to commit. Do meetings have a set day and time? Is it possible for you to conference in? Will there be tasks assigned outside of scheduled meetings?
  • If provided with background material in preparation for a meeting, do your best to read it in advance.
  • Tell the group how you prefer to communicate: email? a phone call?
  • During meetings, think about the topic in terms of: Does this make sense for families? Is there a way to do this that is more sensitive to families’ needs? Does the language used reflect what you would want to see or hear?
  • Also consider the topic from the perspective of a family that may have either more or less interaction with CHOP than your family has had. For example, someone coming for the first time; a family whose child spends a lot of time as an inpatient; a family whose child is managed through outpatient services only or sees physicians exclusively in the Care Network.
  • Understand that not all of your suggestions may be able to be incorporated into the final plan because of budget limits or space/time constraints. Work to find alternatives that solve the problem in a way that can fit within the restraints. Your input is valuable to creating and enhancing the family-centered aspects of the project.
August 2014