Engaging patient and family advisors individually or in a council or committee to apply their own experiences and perspectives is one way to create patient-centered strategies, policies, or procedures that improve the quality and safety of care. Patient and Family Advisory Councils or PFACs can also be a wonderful resource to understand and address emerging and evolving needs including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every PFAC has a lifecycle – often with a beginning, middle, and end. For example:
- Some PFACs may get “off the ground” but never really “take off” and eventually stop meeting due to lack of interest or engagement by the members and/or the hospital.
- Other PFACs may “take a break” due to other pressing needs of the hospital and its community (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) and need to be “re-engaged” to accomplish its mission
- Finally, other PFACs may be effective for many years at accomplishing its mission and find that is it is time to end or explore a new mission that may require starting a new PFAC.
Please join the American Institutes for Research (AIR)* and the IPRO Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC) for a Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) LAN event, titled Understanding the Lifecycle of a Patient and Family Advisory Council. In this pre-recorded event, the AIR team hosts a discussion about the different stages of a PFAC, including how to identify them and how to move forward. The event features real-world examples of how hospitals have responded to the evolving needs of their PFACs. It includes a facilitated discussion about steps that all hospitals can take today to make the most of their PFACs and sustain engagement over time.