In order to serve patients in the Lamar community better, Prowers Medical Center is proud to announce the beginning of a Patient/Family Advisory Council (PFAC). With the shift in the healthcare landscape going from volume to value, more hospitals are engaging patients in their everyday hospital activities. Like any profession, learning from the consumer can provide great insight on how to provide better service.
The council is a partnership between the hospital and patients and their families to ensure that their point of view and experience are not only heard, but also integrated into quality improvements for the hospital. The purpose of the PFAC is to partner with the local community and to serve as a platform for patients and families to address potential disparities and barriers. It is the goal of the Prowers Medical Center PFAC to ensure that the community has the opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences while providing input on issues that impact their health and care.
The desire to begin the PFAC was planted several years ago with the Cultural Competency Advisory Committee, which was started to improve the patient/family experience. Patient care cannot be approached with a cookie cutter mindset – every patient is unique, and has unique concerns. At Prowers Medical Center, the staff is passionate about taking care of every patient as best as possible. They want to take healthcare to the next level and they see a PFAC as part of accomplishing that goal.
“We saw a need to have feedback from the community to help us better hear the voice of the patients and families,” stated Tasha Spencer, PTA and Chair of the Prowers Medical Center Cultural Competency Advisory Committee.
To prepare for the creation of a PFAC, the Prowers Medical Center staff have listened to webinars and trainings from the Colorado Hospital Association, and they have spoken to other hospitals that have gone through the process. Because a PFAC is specific to each organization, Prowers Medical Center has done the research to ensure it will be beneficial to the Lamar community.
The first kickoff meeting is with Anna Morris from Colorado Hospital Association to lay the groundwork for the council. For the first meeting with council members, there will be an orientation of the hospital and a discussion of participant responsibilities. Going forward, council discussions will cover whatever the council members feel need to be discussed. Elia Trujillo, Language Coordinator, expects the PFAC will be a sounding board for topics such as “patient safety and quality, navigating and understanding our healthcare system, patient barriers to healthcare, understanding the patients’ culture, and participation in activities and events at the hospital.” Above all, the goal of the PFAC is to have more transparency in the community and make the community feel like they have a voice in the happenings at Prowers Medical Center.
Kim Burgess, leading the charge in the research and development of the Council, states, “My hopes for the council is to get our patients, family members, and community more involved in their healthcare.”
“We’re excited, we have very good energy in our committee,” Tasha says. “People are committed to doing a better job to serve our community. It’s been a lot of work, but we have a really great team working on the project. We’re looking to improve all the way around and this is a great way to do it.” To get involved in the PFAC, first fill out an application. The ideal council member has utilized Prowers Medical Center services in some fashion, and really understands the current hospital experience. If serving on the council seems too much of a commitment, speak to a council member about your concerns and that member can then bring your issues to the council.