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Emerson's Patient and Family Advisory Council

DPH Regulation
Effective October 1, 2010, the Department of Public Health (DPH) required all acute, chronic, and long term care hospitals in Massachusetts to establish a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The purpose of these Councils is to provide a way for patients and family members to advise the hospital on matters such as patient and provider relationships, institutional review boards, quality improvement initiatives, and patient education on safety and quality, to the extent allowed by state and federal law. While the PFAC was formed to comply with the DPH regulation, Emerson has embraced the work of the council. Emerson held its first Council meeting on April 10, 2010.

Emerson’s PFAC members serve as "the patient’s voice" and seek the patient and family member perspective in hospital organizational decision-making. The Council reports to Emerson’s Quality and Patient Safety Council and the Hospital Board Quality Committee.

Who Is Emerson’s PFAC?
Our Council consists of 16 dedicated community members and Hospital staff who are committed to working together. Half of the Council members are current or former patients or family members from the communities served by the hospital. Current community members represent the towns of Acton, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Maynard, and Sudbury.

Members offer advice, information, and recommendations on planning, policies, and procedures. PFAC provides Emerson’s leadership team with a better understanding of how to improve quality, which may include:
• Program development
• Service excellence (improvement/enhancement)
• Communication
• Patient safety
• Facility design
• Patient, family and staff orientation and education
• Staff orientation and education
• Patient/family satisfaction and loyalty assessment

Emerson’s PFAC Accomplishments
• The Council completed and analyzed an Emergency Department (ED) liaison pilot which led to permanent positions in the ED, which are partially funded by the Hans and Mavis Lopater Foundation
• Community members joined and actively participate with Emerson’s Care Transition Collaborative and Falls Prevention Committee.
• Members were actively involved with the inpatient Welcome Brochure revisions and the ED’s Welcome Brochure, “What to Expect in Emerson’s ED.”
• Collaborated with Emerson’s Marketing and Planning team to revise the Hospital’s Internet site.
• Ongoing work to improve Emerson’s discharge process.

Participation Requirements
Active members serve for two years, renewable after the second year, for a maximum of three terms. Members are expected to participate in quarterly two-hour meetings, and have opportunities to participate in programs, projects, and committees that require varied time commitments.

How to Get Involved
If you are an Emerson-area community member and are interested in learning more about the Hospital’s Council, please contact the Manager of Patient Safety at 978 287-3385.