New Report on Patient and Family Councils

Health Care For All and the Consumer Health Quality Council are pleased to release a new report (PDF) on the efforts and accomplishments of MA hospitals’ Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs).

The Consumer Council advocated for the 2008 law requiring all hospitals to establish PFACs and has been following their progress. For the past three years, members of the Consumer Council have gathered hospitals annual PFAC reports/plans and reviewed them. For the 2011 reports (which were due to be completed October 1, 2011), the Consumer Council members decided to gather the reports, review them, develop a survey instrument and then analyze them and record data. With those findings, the Council wrote the summary report. The report also includes a list of questions that Consumer Council members would like to see hospitals address in their next reports, which were to be finalized by October 1, 2012.

Thank you to the Consumer Council members who spent many volunteer hours doing this work. The report gives a wonderful overview of all hospitals’ efforts. If you want to learn about a specific hospital’s PFAC, please visit the hospital PFAC page on the HCFA website  and click on the link for that particular hospital. We will start linking to 2012 reports as hospitals send them to us.

Overall, we found that some hospitals have made great strides in engaging and empowering their PFACs and making changes based on their feedback and ideas. Others were still at the initial stages of developing the PFACs. And many were somewhere in between. In the 2012 reports, we hope to see many more examples of PFAC involvement in improving the care experience for patients and families.

–Deb Wachenheim

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2 Responses to New Report on Patient and Family Councils

  1. Jim Conway says:

    Deb, thanks to the Council and HCFA for this report. In my travels (as recently as last week at an Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care meeting in Ann Arbor), there is strong interest from across the nation in this innovative leadership journey of the Massachusetts community and its hospitals with patient and family advisory councils in every setting. Questions include “how’s it going,” “what’s the learning,” “Is it just check-a-box,” and “would a similar effort work in my state”? By sharing this report, you help to answer these questions systematically. People are also very impressed at how the whole MA healthcare community are working together to realize the potential.

    Among the clear recommendations in the recent IOM report Best Care at Lower Cost are “Involve patients and families in decisions regarding health and healthcare, tailed to fit individual preference,” and “Promote community-clinical partnerships and services aimed at managing and improving health at the community level.” Thanks again to the Council, Community, and MA Hospitals for showing the way with this great example.


  2. Lauren M. says:

    Congrats to the Consumer Council for getting this report out to the public. I was glad to see a focus of the report included PFAC influence/impact on quality improvement initiatives and that there’s a call to include more information on this in future reports. For those that do not have the advantage of working with PFACs, information on their impact (on quality improvement in particular) would certainly compel other organizations to take the leap!

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