Palm Bay Hospital: Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) - Guidelines for Operations July 2015

Table of Contents

    Term of Office
    Planning, Reporting and Evaluation
    Guidelines and Authority
ARTICLE IV: Responsibilities
ARTICLE V: Meetings
ARTCLE VI: Confidentiality
ARTICLE VII: Amendment of Guidelines


The name of the organization shall be the Palm Bay Hospital (PBH) Patient and Family Advisory Council (PBH PFAC).

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ARTICE II: Purpose

The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) will act as an advisory resource for Palm Bay Hospital by providing a vehicle of communication through cooperative efforts between the patients, families, healthcare professionals, support staff and administration.

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The PFAC General Members - shall be selected through an interview selection process and then accepted for membership to the PBH PFAC Committee. They can consist of patients, family members of a patient, or employees who use or have used the services of Palm Bay Hospital (10% or less of the PBH PFAC should consist of Health First employees).

Administrative Membership - Will consist of assigned members of the PBH leadership team.

Goal- To achieve representation from all populations served, there shall be representatives from a wide variety of specialties and services as well as geographic areas with respect to cultural diversity of the population served. The total PFAC membership shall not exceed 20 voting members. Guests will not have voting privileges.

The PFAC General Membership must be willing to:

  • Share the positive and negative care experiences they had as a patient or family member of a patient.
  • Share suggestions and potential solutions to help improve hospital care for other patients and family members.
  • Think beyond my own personal experiences.
  • Bring a positive attitude to discussions and in representing the group at all times.
  • Listen to and think about what others say, even when I disagree.
  • Keep any information I may hear as an advisor private and confidential.
  • Work with people who are different from me.
  • Learn how to best serve as an advisor.
  • Be willing to commit the time and energy to fulfill the responsibilities of membership.


Have the ability to work harmoniously with professionals and other patients and families,

  • 45 min orientation required
  • 20 hours Council meetings (approx.2 hrs @ 10 meetings)
  • Minimum of 10-20 hours of hospital related committee activities
  • Minimum of usual or suggested time commitment 30 hours total per year


To carry out the responsibilities of the PFAC, individual members will be expected to adhere to the following duties:

  • Active participation by utilizing multiple communication methods.
  • Attend scheduled monthly meetings as determined by the council.
  • Be knowledgeable of Patient and Family Advisor Council Guidelines.
  • Be dependable; Notify appropriate individuals if unable to fulfill commitment and/or attend meeting.

Officers Term of Office

The officers of the PFAC shall include a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and Secretary. Each shall serve a term of one year. The election of new officers shall take place in October and the new officers shall begin serving their terms the following January. Officers may serve in successive terms, not to exceed two terms, but may not enter into a second term without a majority vote of the Council after the first term.

Duties of Officers

Chairman (hospital appointed): The duties of the Chairman shall be those assigned by the PFAC including

  • Preside over PFAC meeting
  • Prepare meeting agendas
  • Provide overall direction of PFAC activities
  • Serve as spokesperson for the PFAC
  • Keep members abreast of pertinent information affecting the PFAC
  • Direct preparation of PFAC reports as appropriate for distribution to hospital administration

Vice-Chairman: The duties of the Vice Chairman shall be those assigned by the PFAC of the Chairman including:

  • Assistance as requested by Chairman
  • Preside over PFAC meetings in Chairman's absence
  • If Chairman is unable to act, complete Chairman's duties
  • Assumes chairmanship at the next open term when vacated (unless unable to)

Secretary: The duties of Secretary shall consist of;

  • The Secretary is an elected position.
  • Reviewing minutes of all meetings which shall be given to each member prior to the next meeting. Maintain attendance and membership records.


PFAC member may be removed by the PFAC if the PFAC, in collaboration with Hospital Leadership, decides the member's removal is in the best interest of the Hospital's patients and their family members.

Planning, Reporting and Evaluation

The PFAC shall develop an annual plan to include goals and objectives.

Minutes will be kept of all PFAC and Committee meetings and distributed to appropriate PFAC committee members for review and consideration.

An annual report outlining PFAC participation shall be submitted to hospital administration at year-end.

Guidelines and Provisions

The PFAC has provisions given to it by hospital administration and medical staff to act as a liaison on behalf of the patients and families of Palm Bay Hospital. Events organized by the PFAC on behalf of the Palm Bay Hospital are done so with prior approval from hospital administration.

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ARTICLE IV: Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Council, in partnership with PBH shall be:

  • To provide a mechanism for better understanding of the services and policies of Palm Bay Hospital among patients and families.
  • To provide and review suggestions, recommendations, and concerns of patients and families as presented to hospital administration.
  • To continue to assist in the planning of facilities/services.
  • To provide input regarding program development as requested by hospital administration.
  • To provide a vital link between Palm Bay Hospital and the community. To participate in education of health care professionals and other support staff, and administration from a patient and family's perspective.

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ARTICLE V: Meetings

Meeting reminder notifications will be sent prior to each scheduled meeting. PFAC members shall notify the Chairman if they are unable to attend a PFAC meeting or fulfill their commitment. In order to conduct voting business, there must be a simple majority of members present to vote.

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ARTICLE VI: Confidentiality

To maintain appropriate and confidential handling of personal information, PBH patient and/or family members shall not be discussed by name in PFAC meetings. They must also sign a HIPAA and Confidentiality statement.

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ARTICLE VII: Amendment of Guidelines

These guidelines may be amended by written notification of proposed change and presented to the Chairman two weeks prior to a PFAC meeting. The requested amendment must be distributed to the PFAC committee no less than 1 week prior to the next scheduled meeting if a vote is expected. The proposed amendment will be brought before the PFAC Committee for a vote. PBH Hospital executive leadership reserves the right to veto any recommended guideline change. Hospital executive leadership consists of the Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Nursing, Director of Clinical Nursing, and Director of Clinical Operations. Proposed changes effective upon executive leadership approval.

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