Thursday, November 19, 2009

Patient and Family Advisory Councils

New regulations (105 CMR 130.1800-.1801) require hospitals to set up Patient and Family Advisory Councils by October, 2010. According to the Department of Public Health's advisory to hospitals, "The formation of a PFAC is intended to facilitate patient and family participation in hospital care and decision-making, information sharing, and policy and program development. The Institute for Family Centered Care has identified core concepts of patient and family-centered care as dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration." According to the regulations, the purpose of a council is  "to advise the hospital on matters including, but not limited to, patient and provider relationships, institutional review boards, quality improvement initiatives, and patient education on safety and quality matters to the extent allowed by state and federal law." Links to this and other health-related issues are available at Mass. Law About Health Care.