Patient/Family Advisory Panel
To better understand the personal, religious and cultural needs of the patient and his or her family, in 2006 St. Joseph Hospital invited family members of former St. Joseph Hospital patients to form a Patient/Family Advisory Panel.
In its first year, the panel met monthly and joined hospital learning teams, participating in discussions and offering ideas from the perspective of the patient’s family. Their contributions to the care environment have been significant, ranging from initiation of a family blog for Intensive Care Unit ( ICU) patients, to incorporation of a hospital wide “Spread the word, not the germs” campaign theme. On October 14, 2007, moving day to the hospital’s new Patient Care Center, the advisors were on hand to accompany ICU patients and families, helping ensure a safe and smooth transition.
St. Joseph Hospital’s initiative in adopting a family- and patient-centered focus for end-of-life (palliative) care gained national attention in 2007 when advisors spoke at a national conference on healthcare improvements. Hospitals from across the country sent representatives to learn about best practices they could bring back to their institutions.
Sensitivity to the patient’s family needs is also evident in the design of the new Patient Care Center, with its large family visiting areas and in-room sleeping couches. Quality specialists at the hospital believe the family’s input and involvement has a positive impact on the hospital experience as well as patient outcomes.