Engaging patients and families as partners

Patient- and family-centred care (PFCC) is a philosophy based on respect, dignity, collaboration, information sharing, and meaningful participation. The Institute for Patient- and Family-Centred Care defines PFCC as “an approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families. It redefines the relationships in health care.” 

Saskatchewan’s journey toward creating a culture of patient-and family-centred care is guided by a call to action from the 2009 Patient First Review: “That the health system make patient- and family-centred care the foundation and principal aim of the Saskatchewan health system.” 

Learn about the significant milestones in Saskatchewan’s PFCC Journey. 

Our vision is to create a health care system that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among providers, patients, and families at all levels.  We will achieve this vision by increasing the number of opportunities for patients and families to participate as active partners in Saskatchewan’s health care system.

How is HQC helping?

The Health Quality Council supports patient engagement and the development of patient- and family-centred culture in the health system and in patient-oriented research. The image below shows the various ways HQC supports the system to achieve its goals.

How is HQC helping

How can patients and families engage in health system improvement?

There are a variety of opportunities to help improve our health care system as a patient and family advisor. Patient and family advisors can be involved in their local health region or with provincial organizations. Opportunities range from participation in a single event to having an ongoing, long-term role.

Are you a patient or patient-oriented researcher interested in shaping health research in Saskatchewan?
Join a Patient-Oriented Research committee or team, or participate in a study!

Learn More

What people are saying...

As a PFA on the steering committee, I participated in writing the terms of reference for the Prairie North PFCC Advisory Committee. I also gathered stories and assisted our group with educating the public about PFA work through a video and written material. I also represent Prairie North on the provincial guiding coalition. I assist in giving workshops for the orientation of PFAs.

Cecilia Leibel, Patient and Family Advisor , Prairie North Health Region

Being able to be part of a group that has impact from the family level is really rewarding and a huge step forward in improving how our health care is being delivered. Because long-term care is closest to my heart, being able to have a voice in changing policy guidelines and helping to develop the education material for families of residents is very rewarding.

Iris Cannon, Patient and Family Advisor , Prince Albert Parkland Health Region

Significant milestones in Saskatchewan’s PFCC journey


Patient First Review report


Saskatchewan health system hosts Institute for Patient & Family-Centered Care education days


Health regions/organizations develop plans for advancing PFCC. Provincial framework and PFCC forum created to support learning and sharing


Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) roles established and PFAs actively engaged with quality improvement teams in health regions


Provincial PFCC Guiding Coalition and provincial strategy created. Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) Network established to support sharing and learning among PFAs


All health regions adopt Open Family Presence policy, removing formal visiting hours in health care facilities. All health regions/Saskatchewan Cancer Agency establish PFCC steering committees comprised of patients, families, and staff. More than 600 patient and family advisors are engaged in health system improvement

Latest news: Engaging patients and families as partners

More effective teamwork, bold advocacy by patients and families key to preventing people from “falling through the cracks”
Friday, Mar 8, 2019

More effective teamwork, bold advocacy by patients and families key to preventing people from “falling through the cracks”

During a panel discussion following the March 7th public screening of the film “Falling Through the Cracks: Greg’s Story” in Saskatoon, attendees were encouraged to take a...

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Patient- and family-centred care focus of visioning session
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

Patient- and family-centred care focus of visioning session

A group of about 50 people from across Saskatchewan came together on Sept. 21 for a visioning session on patient- and family-centred care (PFCC). The purpose of the day-long event, which...

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Spring 2017 PFCC newsletter available online
Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017

Spring 2017 PFCC newsletter available online

Patient- and family-centred care (PFCC) is about collaboratively providing health care and services that are responsive to the needs, values, and preferences of patients and their families. In...

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For more information about our work to engage patients and families as partners, please contact