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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