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Partnering With Patients & Families

The Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) of Maine Medical Center is a partnership of patients, families, staff, and healthcare providers who are dedicated to improving hospital programs, policies, planning, and processes.

The council collaborates with caregivers and administration to champion patient safety and ensure that the expectations are met of patients and families across the spectrum of the experience at the hospital. The PFAC efforts to achieve patient safety include:

  • Staff Presentations: Monthly council meetings include presentations from hospital staff, designed to give council members an understanding of the broad scope of hospital activities.
  • Review and Feedback: Monthly meetings also include requests from hospital staff for council review and feedback on specific topics which affect patient safety, patient care and patient experience. This allows the voice of patients and families to be included in decisions in areas of critical importance.
  • Hospital Committees: Council members participate as active members of other hospital committees and teams, including, among others, individual Service Line Meetings, the Patient Safety Team, the Patient Experience Team, the Board Performance Improvement Committee, the Infection Prevention Committee and the End of Life Care Committee.
  • Additional Volunteer Activities: Council members are involved in additional hospital volunteer activities which interact directly with patients, families and staff, including the Ambassador Program, the Information Desks, interviewing prospective physicians and special projects.
  • Individual Expertise: Hospital leadership periodically requests one or more council members to serve in an advisory capacity for specific situations involving patient grievances or situations where decisions will directly affect patient care and/or experience.

Council members spend anywhere between five and 20 hours a month involved in hospital activities. The mutual respect and trust between Council members and hospital staff creates a bond that is helpful in sustaining open patient-provider communication. Examples of our collaborative work include:

  • Review of the hospital’s progress in improving Adult Inpatient Medicine’s discharge plan to reduce readmissions
  • Follow-up to the Council’s efforts to improve the waiting room accommodations for the Ambulatory Surgery Unit
  • Evaluation of the curriculum for the hospital’s Learning Center
  • Sounding board for hospital initiatives to raise performance improvement scores in communication, quietness, and responsiveness

Maine Medical Center is committed to putting patients and families first. The engagement and impact of the PFAC is evidence of that commitment. For more information about the PFAC, or to inquire about becoming a member, please contact Department of Quality and Safety at (207) 662-2018.