Person/Patient and Family Engagement (PFE)

Person/Patient and Family Engagement, or PFE, is a way to describe people, their families, and health professionals working together in collaboration. PFE builds relationships between the individual seeking care and the provider (and healthcare system). It shapes care around the individual needs. PFE is critical during every interaction with the healthcare provider across the entire healthcare industry—hospital, community, rehabilitative center, ambulatory care, primary care. This page focuses on PFE in practice settings.

PFE can lead to real improvements and results including:
  • Lower costs for patients, providers, and payers
  • Improved healthcare outcomes, healthier patients
  • Better staff satisfaction at work
  • Assisting staff to understand the health care goals of patients so they can get and stay healthy on their own terms
This page describes six ways to support PFE in practice settings.
PFE Resource Library
Interested in learning more? Consider exploring the resources in the TCPI PFE Resource Compendium. You can also download resources from the PFE resource library. Get started below!
  • PFE Resource Library – This library features a variety of resources to support patients, healthcare administrators, and clinicians to explore and implement PFE strategies.
Patient and family voices

Include patient and family input on practice policies and procedures. Their voices influence how the practice sets up processes. Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) or patient representation on advisory boards are good examples.

Shared decision-making

Doctors and clinicians provide patients and families with the information they need to make the healthcare decisions that best fit their needs. Shared decision-making uses medical science and personal preferences. It puts the patient in control.

E-tools for patients and clinicians

E-tools include patient portals and electronic health records. They are places patients and clinicians can store and access information like test results, upcoming appointments, and medication lists.

Patient Activation

Patients ready to manage their healthcare are activated. They have the skills, confidence, and desire to do it. Tools can help practices measure patient activation to see where people need support and information.

Health literacy

Health literacy is how well someone can collect and understand health information. They need this information to make health decisions. Surveys can help practices measure the health literacy of people they serve.