Patient Safety Week: New HCFA Webpage on Patient and Family Advisory Councils

Health Care For All and the Consumer Health Quality Council successfully advocated for a mandate that all Massachusetts hospitals establish Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). This mandate was included in Chapter 305, the omnibus cost containment/quality improvement law that was enacted in 2008.

Under the regulations for implementing this section of the law, all hospitals had to have a PFAC plan in place by September 30, 2009, describing their steps toward establishing a hospital-wide PFAC by October 2010. The regulations also require all hospitals to make their PFAC plans available to any member of the public upon request. The Consumer Council’s PFAC work group took it upon itself to request the PFAC plan from every Massachusetts hospital. To date, we have received PFAC plans, or found PFAC plans on-line, for 63 hospitals.

This week, in recognition of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, we have created a PFAC webpage with information about PFACs and a list of all hospitals in Massachusetts with links to those that have PFAC information on-line. Again, any member of the public can request any hospital’s PFAC plan, so if you want to learn more about a particular hospital’s PFAC, and how you can get involved, contact that hospital’s Health Care Quality Department. We will be adding information to the PFAC page in the near future, including an overview of information the work group gathered from the PFAC plans and examples of accomplishments from already existing PFACs in Massachusetts.

Thank you to the following PFAC work group members for their work on this project: Linda Burgess, Ken Farbstein, Nicola Truppin and Alec Ziss. To learn more about the Consumer Council and its many activities, please visit

The Commonwealth Fund just published an informative article about hospitals engaging patients and family members in their work. The article includes a mention of the new Massachusetts PFAC mandate.
-Deborah Wachenheim

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One Response to Patient Safety Week: New HCFA Webpage on Patient and Family Advisory Councils

  1. Jim Conway says:

    Congratulations to the HCFA Consumer Council for this exceptional contribution in the spirit of “all teach, all learn.” This web site provides an outstanding resource for all the organizations in MA (and the nation) to inform and learn from the journey of others. For those still writing and posting their plans, it can provide example and help them draw courage as they move into this new powerful partnership.

    This PFCC movement is just one more example from MA for people across the nation that health reform is much more than payment reform or coverage. It is the depth of “re-form” so well articulated by the IOM: designing and executing on a care sytem system organized around the patient that is safe, effective, patient centered, timely, effecient and equitable. Thanks to HCFA for continuing to guide the way and for the MA healthcare system for taking the journey.

    Jim Conway,
    Sr. Fellow, IHI
    Member, MA Quality and Cost Council

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