Barbara Balik: To – For – With: The Journey to Understanding Partnerships With Patients

April 30, 2015 Cover page for Reflections on Learning Download "Reflections on Learning"

“In 2010, an awareness emerged for me that the single largest barrier health care team members face when developing person-and family-centered relationships is this: we believe we already have them (Barbara Balik).”

In this commentary, renowned patient-centred change leader, Senior Faculty at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement and the Principal of Common Fire Healthcare Consulting, Barbara Balik, reflects on her own journey to date.

She outlines a five-step framework to move health care organizations from working from to – for – with patients:
1) Ask where you are on this spectrum of moving to work with patients, families, community members.
2) Ask them to think of their own examples by category.
3) Share their examples with others.
4) Ask them to reflect on what gets in the way of moving to ‘doing with’ patients and families.
5) Identify what they can test immediately in their setting to move to ‘with’.

A variety of international participants have identified the exercise as a useful way to move forward. The framework provides a common language when health care professionals are working to change systems and behaviors.

Balik is a former Foundation Hot Talks on Health headliner (2011) and inspiring leader in the field.


“It is such a positive thing to have an orientation -where are things in the hospital, where can I find a tooth brush, the bank?” – Fabiana, Family Caregiver Hear from other #caregivers in our Wishlist videos: