One way to influence health care practices is to get to know—or even join—your hospital’s Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC). These volunteer councils bring together patients, family members, and hospital staff to improve the care experience by involving those who know it best—the patients. Members may help inform hospital policies, contribute feedback, participate in research design, or lead improvement projects.
In 2008, Massachusetts passed a law requiring all acute and rehabilitation hospitals in the state to establish a PFAC. The legislation remains the only one of its kind in the country. Today, 81 institutions in the state have PFACs and rely on them to weigh in on and drive patient-centered improvements, from meal options to important patient safety initiatives.
Health Care for All (HCFA), the consumer health care advocacy organization which helped to establish the state's PFACs, collects annual reports from Massachusetts’s PFACs each year, as mandated by the state. Most of these reports are posted online, along with the organization’s annual analysis of the aggregated results. Visit HCFA’s website to view the most recent annual report and to learn more about where and how PFACs are making an impact. The site also provides resources for PFAC members including toolkits and training materials.