Hack the PFAC: Creating Next Generation Patient and Family Advisory Councils
Empowering Health Care Consumers
November 27, 2018
Outside New York State
In the policy realm, it can be difficult for health care consumers to share their experiences, concerns, and proposed solutions with State decision-makers.
New York residents are the ones who ultimately pay for the cost of our health care system and bear the burden of its inadequacies. However, it is often the case that the interests of providers, payers, and other organized stakeholders take precedence over the patient. To ensure that New Yorkers have a stronger role in how health care is delivered and how health policy is made, NYSHealth issued a request for proposals, Patients as Partners. Through this initiative, NYSHealth is supporting projects that amplify the voice of New Yorkers and rebalance the health care system so that patients have more influence over their health and health care. In 2018, NYSHealth awarded Island Peer Review Organization (IPRO) a grant to participate in this initiative.
Building upon the findings of a previous NYSHealth-funded report, IPRO, in partnership with X4 Health, tested an enhanced Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) model that employs a technology platform to broaden patient voices in practice transformation. PFACs are a mechanism for patients and families to provide input to and have involvement in hospital-related decisions (e.g., governance, policies, staffing, communications, and facilities) and quality and patient safety initiatives. However, traditional PFAC models may present barriers such as time availability, transportation, and others, thereby limiting the participation of a wider array of patients and families. IPRO piloted a more adaptable and deployable model for PFACs across New York State. The model aimed to make it easier for medical practices to implement and manage PFACS, improve patient participation, and involve a larger, more diverse array of patients and families. Patients were able to convene virtually (as well as in person), communicate in real time, and participate in all phases of project planning and implementation. On the provider side, IPRO worked with participating practices, providing them with the tools and training to configure or reconfigure PFACs to be more efficient, diverse, and capable of driving improvements in quality of care for patients. IPRO then produced a report that details the strategy, provides implementation guidance, and articulates lessons learned and best practices for this PFAC model.