In today’s podcast, Lonnie Hirsch and Dr. Joseph Bianco discuss the formation of advisory councils and how they provide insight and guidance to continuously shape and improve patient experience for the Essentia Health system.
Lonnie’s conversation previews the upcoming Patient Experience Summit presentation by Dr. Bianco and colleague Amy Vanderscheuren, Director, Volunteer Services at Essentia Health. Some of the highlights from this leadership podcast include:
Q: What are Patient and Family Advisory Councils?
A: Advisory councils include patients and family members who regularly meet with healthcare workers, administrative and operational leaders, physicians and other staff members. They discuss health care from the patient and family members point of view.
The feedback they provide is used to help with decisions such as health care design, delivery models, educational and marketing materials, and facilities planning. We also rely on them quite a bit for our work in improving quality and safety in our clinics and hospitals.
Q: How do you select and assemble a Patient and Family Advisory Council?
A: Before a Council can be formed, the organization needs to be committed, and thus sanctioning leadership time and resources to make this work. The organization must be involved in patient- and family-centered care, and looking at patients as true partners. And assigning one person to spearhead the initiative is key to organizing us on various levels for councils to work effectively.
Patients can be referred for participation, but also, we have a recruiting process asking patients to be patient-partners. We want patients who are good communicators, people who are not motivated by a personal agenda, people who can see the bigger picture, understand the complexity of medicine, and people who can work with diverse populations. They have to be interested in making healthcare better.