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Listening and Learning: Family Feedback Enhances Patient Care Experience

April 29, 2013 Print

Listening is vital to any learning experience, and at McLean Hospital, it is vital to enhancing the patient care experience. The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), which launched two years ago, is an invaluable resource, providing feedback on quality of care, patient safety, patient and family education, communication efforts, and hospital services.

PFAC members represent a cross section of the McLean community who have experienced care at McLean for themselves or a family member. Their knowledge of what it is like to be a part of the McLean community makes them uniquely suited to the task of making recommendations for the hospital’s future.

“Who better to help us improve the way we interact on a daily basis with patients and their families than those who have experienced it firsthand,” said Linda Flaherty, RN/PC, senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “Since its inception, PFAC has become an important forum for the promotion of excellent patient- and family-centered care across McLean.”

McLean's Patient and Family Advisory Council
Linda Flaherty, RN/PC, foreground, with members of the McLean Patient and Family Advisory Council

For example, noted Flaherty, the patient and family resource materials Guide to Arriving at McLean Hospital and Guide to Inpatient Care at McLean Hospital were born as a result of PFAC feedback.

“I applaud the development of the guides because they are focused on providing patients and families the necessary information to navigate the hospital,” said Louise Aulier, a member of PFAC since its inception and a staunch patient rights advocate. “I am proud to have been a part of the process.”

PFAC capped off a banner year by providing valuable feedback to the McLean community on more levels than ever before, sharing their personal narratives about their firsthand experience with training program directors and the Quality Committee of the McLean Board of Trustees. According to Gordon Hayes, co-chair of PFAC, the group hopes to focus on battling stigma in the coming years.

“We are very interested in working with the hospital and its clinicians to deal with the issues of stigma,” said Hayes. “This is a topic that resonates with each one of us and it is an area where, as a group, we feel we can make a difference.”

Did You Know?

Thanks to input from the Patient and Family Advisory Committee, in 2012, McLean Hospital produced a series of Guides that provide helpful information about inpatient care for patients, families and friends.

The Guide to Arriving at McLean Hospital and the Guide to Inpatient Care at McLean Hospital, present information in an easily accessible series of frequently asked questions. The guides are organized into sections for patients and for families and friends.

The Checklist: What to Bring offers a list of items helpful to patients during an inpatient stay at McLean. The checklist also provides a list of frequently called telephone numbers.

View the Guides.