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Creating a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm

Universal Patient Compact

Download the Universal Patient Compact [PDF format]

Frequently Asked Questions

The Universal Patient Compact™ is a statement of principles established by NPSF to help create and maintain strong partnerships between patients and providers. NPSF believes that this partnership is critical to the delivery of safe and high quality care. The Compact’s principles are important to forming a patient-and-family-centered care process that respects the rights of patients and providers.


Q. What are the principles of the Compact?

A. The Compact includes principles that:

    • Define elements of patient-and-family-centered care
    • Respect the rights of patients and providers
    • Focus on the relationship between the patient and the provider rather than just one side
    • Include the patient and the family on the team rather than working with the team
    • Help to build open and clear communication between the provider and patients and families


Q. How were these principles developed?

A. The Universal Patient Compact™ ss the outcome of a discussion during the 2007 McKesson Nursing Leadership Congress. It was introduced as part of the 2009 Patient Safety Awareness Week celebrations. The document was created with input from the Patient and Family Committee at NPSF, patient advocacy groups, NPSF Board members, Stand Up for Patient Safety member organizations, and a variety of other patient and provider representatives.


Q. How can I use the Compact?

A. Here are some suggestions for using the Compact:

    • Print the Compact and bring it with you to your next appointment to help you remember what you can do as an important member of the healthcare team.
    • Share the Compact with your providers and talk openly about what the principles mean.
    • Find out if your local hospital has a Patient and Family Advisory Council and discuss whether they may want to build a program around the principles.
    • Share it with your friends and family to help spread the word about this document and the importance of patient-and-family-centered care.