Acute Care Troy Hospitals Find Success in Patient and Family Advisory Council
What can we do, as care providers, to improve the care experience for patients and their families? That is the critical question behind an innovative, new program launched by the Acute Care Troy hospitals at St. Peter’s Health Partners.
In an effort to improve quality and safety for patients, and the patient and family experience, the leaders at Samaritan and St. Mary’s hospitals have implemented a Patient and Family Advisory Council. Comprised of patients, family members, staff liaisons and hospital leadership, the council aims to collect feedback from patients and families, incorporate those observations and suggestions into hospital operations, and enhance customer experiences at those facilities.
“Part of our mission has always been to provide the highest quality care possible to our patients, and we continuously strive to improve the patient experience in every way we can,” said Norman E. Dascher, Jr., chief executive officer of Samaritan and St. Mary’s hospitals, and executive vice president of Acute Care Troy at St. Peter’s Health Partners.
“This effort specifically recognizes that while we are caring for our patients, we are also caring for their family members,” Dascher said. “So we are committed to identifying ways to provide not only the highest quality care, but to deliver the best patient experience for both patients and their family members. It is what we would want for our loved ones, and members of our own families – to be cared for in that situation.”
In April 2015, a group of patients and family members who had experiences at Samaritan or St. Mary’s hospitals was invited to participate on the Patient and Family Advisory Council Steering Committee. Since then, the committee has met monthly. Members have the opportunity to share their stories and experiences firsthand, and then work together to brainstorm and discuss potential improvements or solutions.
“We are also actively soliciting everyone’s feedback about our Master Facility Plan,” said Scarlet Clement, vice president of administration and specialty services for Acute Care Troy, who serves on the committee. “Last month, members of the group toured our new $10 million parking garage and walked the hospital to give us helpful feedback about way finding. As a result, we have made able to make some environmental and operational changes based on that great feedback.”
“The feedback, ideas and suggestions from our members have been invaluable so far,” Dascher said. “The whole group is committed to helping us make important changes to improve the care experience for current and future patients. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance every aspect of the patient and family experience, and increase our sensitivity to the diversity of our patients.”