A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

New Report on Patient and Family Councils

New Report on Patient and Family Councils

October 5, 2012

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