Regions Hospital is no stranger to partnering with patients and families when it comes to giving them a voice on council and committee structures; they’ve been doing that for over 10 years. Dianne O’Konski, Project Manager in Regions’ Best Care Best Experience department states, “Our Patient and Family Advisory Council brings the voices of the patient and family and is integral to decision-making about care delivery and design at Regions. The Council expresses ideas, opinions, and recommendations for our teams regarding a wide variety of topics.” The PFAC is part of the Patient & Family Partners program.
Topics include any media that is patient- or family-facing, such as the educational videos, patient/family education brochures, the admissions booklet, as well as design projects like new or remodeled construction and many care processes. The PFAC also ensures that ongoing discussions are meaningful. At one point in time, the PFAC members expressed that they believed the topics need to be brought in sooner in order to give proper feedback so that their perspective was heard earlier in decision-making. Regions leaders and staff members were immediately responsive and adjusted agendas and invitations to presenting teams accordingly.
Senior hospital leaders play a role in identifying topics and ensuring the PFAC is a meaningful part of operational decisions. They are also very supportive of including patients in internal committees and projects, including the Safety Quality Committee and several operations committees and internal projects.
Challenges faced by Regions:
Regions is located in downtown St. Paul which has a wonderfully diverse population. Having a PFAC that reflects this diversity is a challenge on many levels, such as language, culture, and familiarity with the western healthcare. Several options are being evaluated to ensure all voices are heard including forming PFACs in the ethnic communities.
Contact Dianne O'Konski here, for more information.