Patient Family Advisory Council

Patient Family Advisory Council

Patient Family Advisory Council Team BellinghamA Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a group of diverse patients, families and members of the healthcare team. They come together to collaborate and provide guidance on how to improve the patient and family experience. Through the patient’s unique perspective, these councils give input on issues that impact care, ensuring that the patient or family member’s journey is better and more safe. 

“It is encouraging to know that PeaceHealth values input from community and patients and actually implements suggestions. So, as a patient, that provides a comfort knowing that the best care available for all is a primary goal. Voices do matter and are heard.” - Brenda Chapman

“This was a stimulating, interesting, worldview expanding experience. I can now see some of the issues staff may face, and, hopefully, help the staff to understand the patient’s point of view.” - Ellen Rammell 

    Why join?

    Join a PFAC if you want to be part of the solution and truly make a difference. Integrating patient and family voices into healthcare decision-making is critical to practice improvement. PFAC participation is a gratifying experience because it can transform negative experiences into positive change for ourselves, and for others.

    • Because one person can make a difference and that one person could be you.
    • PFAC provides an open, safe platform to have your voice heard and an opportunity to try to give back to others.
    • Fantastic opportunity to learn more about the inside working of the healthcare system. Knowledge is power, and it helps create a better understanding and empathy for all. This also helps everyone feel like they are all working together on the same team.
    • Because the leadership of the hospital (doctors, nurses, administrators) actually listen to us, and ACTUALLY follow some of our suggestions. This is AMAZING - they see us, the patient and family, as real people with a valuable point of view!

    What do advisors do?

    • They truly advise. They provide the perspective of the patient and family on issues that impact us, and by extension, impact the hospital, clinics and caregivers.
    • When you or your family member received care from the PeaceHealth Medical Group, did you think there were things we could have done better?
    • Do you have ideas about how to make sure other patients and families get the best care possible?
    • You want to serve your community and help make a difference in healthcare delivery. 
    • At PeaceHealth, patient and family advisors give feedback and ideas to help improve the quality and safety of the care we provide.
    • Share your story. Advisors help by sharing their own healthcare experiences with clinicians, staff and other patients.
    • Participate in discussion groups. Advisors tell us what it’s like to be a patient in our Medical Group and what we can do to improve.
    • Review or help create educational or informational materials. Advisors help review or create materials such as health information handouts and forms. Advisor input help to make these materials easier for all patients and family members to understand and use.
    • Work on short-term projects. Occasionally advisors are asked to partner with us in making improvements.
    • Serve on a patient and family advisory council. An advisory council discusses and plans changes to improve quality and safety. Members include patients, family members and Medical Group caregivers. Advisors usually spend at least two hours a month, and no more than four hours per month on advisory work

      How often do PFACs meet and what are the expectations?

      The PFAC meets once per month - schedules vary based on location. Attendance is important as we cover topics that can sometimes build on one another, and can be difficult to get up to speed or overwhelming if meetings are missed. Being on a PFAC is a two-year commitment to ensure we have the same people dedicated to partnering with us on ideas and improvements, rather than constantly rotating people on and off the PFAC.