The Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care supports a patient-centred philosophy of care. In this paradigm, patients and their families are treated as partners in the provision of health care. They have a significant role in the health team. This includes a central role in their own health-care management so that they have a real voice in planning and implementing their own care. It also includes involvement in hospital decision-making. Information is shared so that families can make informed choices. Patient, family and professional partnerships and collaborations are implemented at every level.
This model of care is very different from the traditional systems in place in hospitals where patients can end up as the relatively passive recipients of care. Patient-centred care means that "The patient gets a place at the table".