Advisory Council

Patient & Family Advisory Council

Patients and their families bring unique and important insights into a hospital’s policies, planning, service delivery, quality improvement and facility design—and at Emerson Hospital, we want to hear what our patients and their families have to say about these things.

That’s why we established our Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) in April 2010—a full six months before the Massachusetts Department of Public Health required it of all the state’s hospitals.

Emerson’s Patient & Family Advisory Council enables our patients, families and providers to develop a mutually beneficial partnership through which patients and family members advise the hospital on issues such as patient-provider relationships, research, quality improvement, and patient education on safety and quality.

Who’s on Emerson’s Patient & Family Advisory Council?

Co-chaired by a patient/family member and a hospital member, Emerson Hospital’s PFAC consists of representatives from the hospital and current or former patients or family members who represent the community.

Current community members represent the towns of Acton, Concord, Fitchburg, Groton, Harvard, Lincoln, Maynard, Stow, and Waltham.

How does the PFAC benefit patients, families and hospitals?

Everyone benefits from a Patient and Family Advisory Council, and in a variety of ways, including:

  • Increased awareness and understanding of the health care system among those who receive care
  • Advocacy that advances the interests of family, friends and the organization
  • More active participation by patients in their own health care and self-management
  • Transformation of the hospital culture toward patient/family-centered care
  • Improved patient and family satisfaction

What Emerson’s PFAC has accomplished

Some recent achievements of Emerson’s PFAC include:

  • Three Council members have become certified facilitators for Honoring Choices Massachusetts, a program to inform and empower adults and families about the importance of making a personal health care plan
  • The Council completed and analyzed an Emergency Department liaison pilot program which led to permanent positions in the ED
  • PFAC members provide on-going ideas and feedback to Emerson’s Marketing and Planning team for the hospital’s website.
  • Community members joined and actively participate on these Emerson committees or work groups:
    • Emerson’s Care Transition Collaborative
    • Falls Prevention Committee
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Quality and Patient Safety Councils

Would you like to be part of Emerson’s Patient & Family Advisory Council?

Here’s what’s required: Active members serve for two years, a term that’s renewable after the second year. Members are expected to participate in five 90-minute meetings, and have opportunities to take part in programs, projects and committees that have varied time commitments.

How to get involved

If you are an Emerson-area community member and interested in learning more about the Hospital’s Council, please contact the manager of patient safety at 978- 287-3385.