Morton Plant Mease Healthcare Patient and Family Advisory Council: Guidebook

Table of Contents

Mission and Vision
    Core Concepts
    Benefits of Serving as an Advisor
Patient and Family Advisory Program Opportunities
    Name Badge
    Recording Volunteer Hours
        Leave of Absence
Checklist for Effective Collaboration
Serving on a Committee or Special Project
    Tips for Serving on a Council, Project or Focus Group
Patient and Family Advisory Council
    Mission and Vision Statements
    Goals and Objectives
    Benefits of a PFAC
    Reporting Structure
    Roles and Responsiblities of PFAC
    Roles and Responsibilities of Healthcare Members
    Future Committees
Jargon 101

Mission and Vision of Morton Plant Mease Healthcare

  • Mission: Morton Plant Mease Healthcare will improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high quality compassionate care.
  • Vision: Morton Plant Mease Healthcare will advance superior healthcare by providing exceptional patient centered care.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care at Morton Plant Mease Overview

Patient- and family-centered care is an approach to care where the delivery of health care is organized around the needs of patients and families. It gives patients a “voice” in everything about them. Some use the phrase, “Nothing about me, without me” to describe the central role that patients and families have in not only their own health care decisions and management, but how care and services are provided within the health care institution. Patients and families are not only welcomed, but encouraged to be active participants in their own care and to be part of committees and councils to improve the patient experience. This approach to care is based on the belief that the partnership among health care providers, patients and families leads to the best outcomes and enhances the quality and safety of health care.

In 2014, Morton Plant Mease officially adopts this approach to care and begins a journey to make the patient and family experience with the physical environment, the care and the processes truly designed to meet the patient and family needs. The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is the vehicle to enhance this collaboration.

With a patient- and family-centered care approach, patients and families have a voice with the health care delivery team to advance the following: respect for patients' values, preferences and expressed needs; coordinated and integrated culturally competent care; timely, affirming and useful information, communication and education; individualized care; physical comfort; emotional support; involvement of family and friends, shared decision-making and collaboration among health care practitioners, patients and families in the planning, delivery and evaluation of care.

Core Concepts of Patient- and Family-Centered Care

  • Respect and Dignity - Health care practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing - Health care practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  • Participation - Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration - Patients and families are also included on an institution-wide basis. Health care leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in health care facility design; and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.

The two main components of the Patient and Family Advisory Program:

  • Patient and Family Advisory Council
  • Patient and Family Advisors participation on clinical, leadership councils and projects to be the voice of the patient and family.

Source: Institute for Patient- and family-centered care,

The Benefits of Serving as a Patient and Family Advisor

The benefits to MPMHC include:

  • Improved planning
  • Fresh perspective
  • Increased knowledge and skills
  • Increased empathy and understanding
  • Improved quality, safety and patient satisfaction
  • Help in carrying out MPMHC's mission and vision

The benefits to patients and families include:

  • Improved service
  • Opportunity to bring about meaningful change
  • Opportunity to network
  • Increased opportunity for sharing information
  • The satisfaction of making a contribution and giving back to the system

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Orientation for Patient and Family Advisory Program

There are several orientations required for this program. The summary below outlines the various orientations.

MPM Volunteer Orientation

This orientation acquaints you with being a volunteer at MPMHC and fulfills regulatory requirements. Complete before beginning the other orientations.

Contact: _________________to schedule your orientation _____ date completed

Patient and Family Advisory Council Orientation

This orientation acquaints you with the Patient and Family Advisory Council and helps prepare you for your role as a patient/family advisor. Please schedule this individualized orientation with Julie Underhill. (1-2 hour program)

_____ date completed

Patient Experience Class: (required within the first 3 months of becoming an advisor)

This orientation is provided to new and existing team members, as well as, Patients and Family Advisory Council members. We ask patient and family advisors to attend in order to gain information about the patient experience initiatives at MPMHC. Reservations are needed.

_____ date completed


Oct 3 08:00AM-10:30 AM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Oct 7 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Oct 20 04:00 PM-6:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Oct 21 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Nov  4 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Nov  7 08:00AM-10:30 AM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Nov 18 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Dec 2 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Dec. 5 08:00AM-10:30 AM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Dec. 15 04:00 PM-6:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3
Dec. 16 02:00 PM-4:30 PM Mease Dunedin Hosp MR 1-3

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Patient and Family Advisory Council

The Patient and Family Advisory Council is based on the principles of patient- and family-centered care. Its goals are to strengthen collaboration among patients, family members and health care practitioners at both the clinical and administrative levels and to enhance MPMHC's ability to deliver the highest standard of safe, comprehensive and compassionate health care.

This program:

  • Engages patients and families as partners to shape policies, programs, facility design and day-to-day care interactions.
  • Leads to better health outcomes, wiser allocation of resources and greater patient and family satisfaction.
  • Enhances patient safety.
  • Promotes communication, partnership, information sharing, choices and respect.

Patient and Family Advisor Opportunities:

  • Program/Policy Review: Design, implement and evaluate health care programs and policies to assure the best possible care for patients and families.
  • Council Membership: Serve on councils, task forces and quality initiatives throughout MPMHC.
  • Education Materials Review: Read patient education materials and provide feedback on their clarity and usefulness.
  • Teaching: Educate staff, physicians and others on how to better communicate with patients and families.
  • Focus Groups: Participate in one-time discussion groups focused on a particular department or services.
  • Facilities Planning: Work toward the goal of providing a safe, welcoming and supportive care environment.

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Requirements for Patient and Family Advisors

Patient & Family Advisor

Patient & Family Advisors are volunteers who have been a patient, or family member of a patient, and returned to partner with MPMHC to improve care.

Meeting Attendance

  • Council Meetings
    • Members are expected to participate in at least 50% PFAC meetings, which will be scheduled every other month, and various councils or projects, which will require a varied number of hours, according to the needs of the individual council (at least 2 per year).
    • The meeting(s) reminder and agenda is e-mailed 2 weeks prior to a meeting date. If you have an items you would like added to the agenda, please contact the program coordinator at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting.
  • Punctuality
    • The meetings are generally scheduled ___________________ (unless there is a holiday), from ____________

Adjunct Council, Project, Focus Group Participation:

Attend at least 2 per year and report findings back to PFAC

Locations and meeting times will be forwarded by the specific council/project chair.

Name Badges

As an advisor you are provided a name badge. This badge includes your photo and identifies your volunteer role. You should always wear your name badge when you are at MPMHC serving as an advisor. This includes when you are serving on councils and focus groups.

If you are at a MPMHC facility for a different reason,such as coming in for an appointment, you should not wear your advisor badge.

Record of Volunteer Hours

Advisors should record their volunteer hours as directed by the Volunteer Services Department. Volunteer Services will show you how to record your volunteer hours.

If you forget to log your volunteer hours, please contact ___________________

Leave of Absence

Council members may resign or request a Leave of Absence from the Council at any time during their term. A member may request a Leave of Absence when unusual or unavoidable circumstances require that the member be absent from meetings and activities for 3 to 6 months.

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A Checklist for Effective Collaboration

Ability to see strengths in myself

Do I believe that I bring a unique perspective to the relationship with the providers?

Do I believe that families’ perspectives and opinions are as important as providers?

Ability to provide support to others

Am I willing to share my own experience?

Am I nonjudgmental?

Am I coping well with my own emotional issues?

Can I identify the needs and feelings of others?

Ability to work with other families

Am I willing to become involved with other families?

Can I handle confidential information without discussing it with others?

Am I a good listener?

Can I work with little praise and recognition?

Can I give to others without expecting something in return?

Ability to work collaboratively

Do I treat each provider as an individual and avoid letting past negative experiences or negative attitudes get in the way of establishing good working relationships?

Am I able to work in partnership, even when I disagree?

When I have a positive relationship with a professional or an agency, do I express support for that person or agency?

Do I maintain realistic expectations for myself and for the providers I work with?

Am I able to wear two hats – that of a consumer and that of an agency representative?

Thomas, J. & Jeppson, E. S. (1997). Words of advice: A guidebook for families serving as advisors. Bethesda, MD: Institute for Family-Centered Care.

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Serving On a Council, Special Project or Focus Group

If you are asked to serve on a council or special project, the chair of the program will contact you and explain the role of the council. If you are available and interested to participate, the team member responsible for the council will then contact you directly to discuss the meeting time(s) and provide any additional information you might need.

The majority of meetings at MPMHC are schedule through Outlook and most scheduling requests occur through e-mail. If you do not communicate through e-mail, please share this with the team member. Communicating via e-mail helps to streamline the process.

When meetings are scheduled, please keep track of the meetings on your calendar and include the team member's name and contact information.

Additional education is provided as needed to new advisors about serving on councils.

Tips for Serving on a Council, Project or Focus Group:

  • Ask for directions to the meeting. Allow plenty of time to get there.
  • Read materials you've received ahead of time.
  • Ask the members to introduce themselves if they haven't.
  • Take notes – they will help you remember later.
  • Ask questions – there is no such thing as a dumb question. Someone else probably has the same questions and feels too shy to ask.
  • Ask for explanations of acronyms or confusing terminology.
  • Observe body language – you'll pick up a lot of clues about how people are feeling.
  • Attending regularly will help you to clarify the issues and understand the group's dynamics.
  • Know yourself – be clear about your values and priorities.
  • Get to know the providers and learn about their perspectives.
  • Offer to share your community resources and networks.
  • Listen.

Thomas, J. & Jeppson, E. S. (1997). Words of advice: A guidebook for families serving as advisors. Bethesda, MD: Institute for Family-Centered Care.

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MPMHC Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

The Patient and Family Advisory Council comprises 6-12 patients and family members who volunteer as patient or family advisors, and 6-8 hospital leaders or their designees. At the Patient and Family Advisory Council meetings, the patient and family advisors help the healthcare system's leadership understand the patient experience and advise them about opportunities for improvement.

The patient and family advisors also work side-by-side with administrators and team members to find solutions and design better care and processes. It is a true partnership where the best decisions are made because everyone's perspective is heard and considered. Patient and family advisors provide invaluable insight from their experiences, and help the organization enhance quality, safety and patient satisfaction.

PFAC Mission and Vision

Mission: The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) will be a true partner with the MPMHC team, involved in decision-making, and committed to creating an environment of safety, dignity, respect, and honesty, to assure the very best for patients and families.

Vision: To be a revolutionary leader in raising the standard of excellence for shared decision making and inclusive involvement in the advancement of patient centered processes.

PFAC Goals and Objectives

Create a patient and family centered environment which promotes the best possible medical and emotional outcomes for patients and family members.

  • To enhance communication
  • Empower patients, family members and staff through continuous education
  • To identify and address patient and family needs in all aspects (body, mind, spirit)
  • To improve patient safety and delivery of care
  • Improve navigation through the system

Benefits of an Advisory Council

  • Provides an effective mechanism for receiving and responding to consumer input.
  • Results in more efficient planning to ensure services really meet consumer needs and priorities.
  • Leads to increased understanding and cooperation between patients and families and staff.
  • Promotes respectful, effective partnerships between patients and families and professionals.
  • Offers a forum for developing creative, cost-effective solutions to problems and challenges faced by the program or organization.
  • Supplies a link between the program, its surrounding community, and community groups.
  • Provides increased emotional support and access to information for patients and families.

Draft PFAC Reporting Structure

Diagram showing reporting relationships of PFAC. Patient Family Advisory Council (local level) goes back and forth with BCHS System Steering Committee and with QLTF. QLTF goes back and forth with Board Quality and Safety, Nursing Leadership, and Senior Management. The relationship between QLTF and Nursing Leadership includes clinical recommendations. The relationship between QLTF and Senior Management has financial implications.

Roles & Responsibilities of the Advisory Council

  • Serves as advisory resource to administration and staff of the organization or one of its programs.
  • Promotes improved relationships between patients, families and healthcare team.
  • Provides a vehicle for communication between patients, families and healthcare team.
  • Provides a venue for patients and families to provide input into policy and program development.
  • Provides an opportunity for patients and families to review recommendations referred to the council by healthcare team or administration.
  • Provides an opportunity for patients and families to actively participate in the development of new facilities and programs.
  • Channels information needs and concerns to healthcare team and administration.
  • Actively helps implement changes.
  • Provides input into educational programs for healthcare team.
  • Collaborates as partners with care providers, physicians, and administration in the planning and operation of specific programs.
  • Provides opportunities for healthcare team to listen to their customers.
  • Provides a safe venue for patients and families to provide input in a setting where they are receiving care.
  • Serves as a coordinating mechanism for patients and families.

Roles and Responsibilities of MPMHC Team Members on the Council

  • Contribute healthcare perspective
  • Facilitate change
  • Voting and non-voting members

Future Committees to be considered:

  • Membership Committee
  • Newsletter Committee

The patient- and family-centered care concept benefits both MPMHC and the patient/family members. The ability to address old problems with new ideas can make a significant difference to patient care and safety.

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Jargon 101

Below is a list of some of the acronyms or terms you may hear while participating in this program. If you are in a situation where you hear an acronym or term you do not understand, please do not hesitate to ask the person using the phrase for clarification.


ACP – Advance Care Planning

ARNP – Advance Registered Nurse Practitioner

EMR – Electronic Medical Record

HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIM – Health Information Management

IT – Information Technology

MSW – Masters in Social Work

NEP – New Established Patient

OP – Occupational Therapy

PCL- RN Patient Care Leader

PCT– Patient Care Technician

PHR – Personal Health Record

PFAC – Patient and Family Advisory Council

PSR – Patient Service Representative

PT – Physical Therapy

Rad Tech – Imaging Technician

RD – Registered Dietitian

RN – Registered Nurse

RT – Registered Respiratory Therapy

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