In an effort to improve care, hospitals are inviting patients and family advisory councils to work on policies and projects along with the hospital staff. This would give them the opportunity to weigh in on matters that range from the design of hospital rooms to improving communication with nurses. They can even accompany doctors on their rounds.
The advisory council is more than just a hospital volunteer. Their role would involve more than just handing out magazines or managing the information booth. Instead, those part of the advisory council would be expected to commit more time and effort. This is huge opportunity as it would enable patients and families to help other patients and families in ways they could not do before.
Advisory councils are a part of a strategy called the patient and family engagement. BMJ Safety reports findings from a survey conducted by the Health Research and Educational Fund that shows that 38 percent of hospitals had such panels already in place. The survey also indicates that hospitals with such councils had better patient ratings at 9 or 10 out of 10 as compared to hospitals that did not have such councils.
In order to join such councils, patients and families can let their interest be known to doctors and nurses. Patients who have had difficult experiences can also offer excellent suggestions sometimes.
“We are looking for people who have thoughtful feedback and are ready to move forward, rather than someone who is super-angry with us,” says Cindy Sayre, an associate administrator at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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