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Patient Stories

Patient and Family Forums
By W Ewing

“As an organization, we have created a number of new opportunities for our patients and families to be involved in the care we provide,” says Martha Page, R.N., Director of Patient Safety.

By way of example, she cites the patient-centered rounding that currently takes place in the intensive care units and cardiac surgery unit; the new IPACE care model on Davenport 5 that centers around patient and family involvement; and the inclusion of patients on several process improvement teams.

Another forum for members of the North Shore community to have a voice in the care delivery and safety programs at NSMC is the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Co-chaired by Page and Ed Budelmann, a software professional from Ipswich, the 16-member committee helps NSMC fulfill a requirement established by the Department of Public Health that all healthcare organizations facilitate dialogue with patients and families in a formal manner. North Shore Physicians Group also has its own separate PFAC.

“Being part of this group has been both an educational and eye-opening experience,” says Budelmann. “I have had a personal and professional connection to NSMC for many years and, through this group, I am still continually surprised and amazed by the complexity of healthcare today and the high quality of clinical services offered by the medical center.”

Established in 2009, NSMC’s PFAC has been slowly building momentum over the past several years. Meeting on a monthly basis, the committee has been involved in a variety of projects to date, including the creation of a medication safety brochure and a new website offering information on patient safety and other related topics. They have also served as a sounding board for several committees, providing perspective on a variety of construction and process improvement projects.

Upcoming Projects

Among PFAC’s upcoming plans are a series of focus groups with residents of a local retirement community to gain an additional perspective on different aspects of care at NSMC. The first meeting will be about what it’s like to receive care in NSMC’s emergency department and how this experience could be improved.

The group is also creating a new recognition award to honor excellence in delivering patient-centered care. “Patients, families and community members play an extremely important role in enhancing the quality of care we deliver,” says Page. “Their firsthand knowledge is invaluable and I encourage any staff member or team looking for perspective on a project or initiative to consider running it by PFAC.”