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HCFA Gathers Patient and Family Advisors and Releases Annual Report

Secretary Polanowicz addresses the PFAC Conference

HCFA Gathers Patient and Family Advisors and Releases Annual Report

May 19, 2014

On May 14, HCFA held its second annual statewide Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) conference. The conference took place in Worcester and brought together 175 participants from 54 hospitals and health centers. Twelve workshops covered a wide variety of topics, including recruiting to represent the community, improving patient safety and transparency, raising the PFAC’s profile in the hospital, educating the public on end-of-life care and palliative care, and more. See a list of workshops here.

The keynote speaker was EOHHS Secretary John Polanowicz. He spoke of the importance of patient and family involvement in improving care and he also spoke from a personal perspective about his health care experiences while caring for loved ones. Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the day and are excited about future opportunities to continue making connections across PFACs. The Worcester Telegram and Gazette covered the day. Read their coverage of our event here

HCFA was the lead advocate for the 2008 law requiring all MA hospitals to establish PFACs and since then we have had a role in ensuring successful implementation. HCFA gathers all PFACs’ annual reports and posts them on our website so that members of the public can learn about PFACs’ work and so that PFACs can learn from one another. Just two days before the conference we released our third annual report summarizing the work of Massachusetts PFACs based on our analyses of their 2013 annual reports.  We also coordinate monthly PFAC webinars covering topics such as recruitment strategies, placing patients and family members on hospital committees, and improving mental health care.  

HCFA is organizing a Statewide PFAC Advisory Board to work with us as we continue our PFAC efforts and take them to another level, including convening regional PFAC gatherings and looking at policy initiatives. We are excited to continue working with the many dedicated patients and family members who participate in PFACs across the Commonwealth.

-Deb Wachenheim