History & Milestones


Picker Institute Inc., a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing and promoting a patient centred approach to healthcare was established.


Developed the Principles of Patient Centred Care which become an internationally renowned framework supporting the delivery of high quality person centered care.


Picker Institute Europe was formally created and based in the UK. Picker Institut Deutschland was established as a central European hub and based in Hamburg, Germany.


In the USA, the Picker Institute philosophy was used to develop the HCAHPS quality instrument.


Named as the English NHS regulator’s partner of choice to run the NHS National Survey Programme.


Designed and established the first ever English NHS national survey programme for patient experience.


Established our improvement service, dedicated to supporting organisations to act on their user experience data to improve care quality.


Developed and co-ordinated the first ever survey of service user experience of mental health services in England.


Published, and won The Baxter Award for European Patient of the Future – a major study carried out in eight different European countries to look at health policy dilemmas through the eyes of the patient.


Picker Institut Deutschland develops the first Clinic Guide - the first hospital benchmarking project of its kind in Germany.


Identified patient expectations of intensive care doctors, which were used in CoBaTrICE; a pan-European project which aims to harmonise standards of specialist training in intensive care medicine in the European Union.

2007 – 2008

Developed the Invest in Engagement programme.


Became the English Department of Health’s partner of choice to run the NHS National Staff Survey, the largest single workforce survey in Europe.


Won an NHS Department of Health national award for the development of a PREM for children & young people. In 2012 this was taken to the international stage with uptake in the USA and Australia.


Launched the Individual Clinician Feedback programme in collaboration with University Hospitals South Manchester and The Society of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons. Individual clinician feedback of their patient’s experience are published alongside their clinical outcomes for the first time.


Picker Institut Deutschland publish the Picker Report 2013, featuring statistics and analyses on the most important factors for a good patient and staff experience across Germany.


Picker Institut Deutschland host the first Picker Forum; an annual best-practice event for healthcare professionals dealing with hospital & quality management in Germany.


Launched an international collaborative with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, bringing the Always Events® improvement programme to European health and social care jurisdictions.


Picker Institut Deutschland launch the first Picker Award for Maternity Clinics, awarded to the three most “parent-friendly” clinics in Germany.


Our expertise continues to shape the delivery of person centred care across the world - including the UK, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Jordan. We continue to advise on an international front by working towards our vision: The highest quality health and social care for all, always.

Like many powerful ideas, the concept for Picker was born from the personal experience of its founders.

Jean and Harvey Picker established Picker in 1986, during Jean’s treatment for a terminal condition. They saw the American healthcare system was technologically and scientifically outstanding, but they believed that it was not adequately sensitive to the concerns and personal needs of patients and this affected the quality of care they received.

Harvey and Jean first established Picker in the United States; an organisation dedicated to researching how healthcare organisations could improve the experience of patients, whilst meeting their clinical needs.

To be truly effective, they understood that health care must be delivered in a way that:

  • Is sensitive to patients’ concerns and comfort
  • Is responsive to their personal values and preferences
  • Actively involves patients, their family members and carers in shared decision making

The work of Picker proved so impactful in the USA that in 2000 Picker was established to continue the mission worldwide. Picker is widely credited with originating the term ‘person centred care’. Our research, survey tools and services have become standard facilitators of care quality worldwide.

“If you’d told me when we started that we would influence health care in leading countries in such a way, it would have been beyond what I’d ever imagined.” – Harvey Picker

Learn more about our vision and mission.

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