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Happy Patient Experience Week: A Focus on Person and Family-Centered Care

Happy Patient Experience Week: A Focus on Person and Family-Centered Care

It’s National Patient Experience Week, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts health-care workers make to ensure their patients have an exceptional experience during the course of their treatment.

At Christian Health we consistently strive to provide those in our care with excellent health-care services to foster a positive patient experience. Our focus on PFCC – or person- and family-centered care – allows us to achieve that mission by putting the individual needs of our patients at the forefront.

PFCC is a health-care philosophy and method that focuses on developing treatment plans while treating patients and their family members as equal partners on the care team. It offers a new way of thinking about the relationships between patients, their families, and health-care providers and is founded the understanding that their perception of the quality of care plays a vital role in treatment outcomes. “The essence of PFCC is all about working ‘with’ patients and their families, rather than just doing ‘to’ or ‘for’ them,” said Jennifer Ross, CALA, CHSP, LNHA, Assistant Administrator, Heritage Manor and Southgate Special Care. “It’s about hearing their voices and honoring their choices. PFCC is an engagement that respects the expertise of the patients and their families.”

What is PFCC?

PFCC involves four major components: respect and dignity, information sharing, participation in care and decision-making, and collaboration on policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.

  • Dignity and respect – To provide quality care, our health-care practitioners attentively listen to and honor our patients’ and their family’s perspectives. Their individual values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are respected when planning and implementing treatment.
  • Information sharing ­– Open communication is a vital aspect of providing PFCC. Important, accurate, complete, and unbiased information is always thoroughly communicated to our patients and their family so that they can effectively and knowledgeably make decisions regarding their treatment.
  • Participation – At Christian Health patients and families are encouraged to actively participate in their care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration – Patients, families, and health-care providers and leaders partner and collaborate on the development and implementation of treatment plans to provide safe, quality care with integrity and compassion.

How Does PFCC Help Patients?

Because PFCC focuses on treating patients and their family members as partners on the care team, it provides patients with the autonomy to make their own educated decisions about their health. They are treated like an individual rather than just a name on a chart. Ensuring their concerns are listened to, their privacy is respected, and their identity, perspectives, and needs are considered contributes to a positive experience and improved outcomes. The PFCC approach insists that health-care providers know who their patients are and how they want to be treated and informed. They go above and beyond simply providing medical care and do everything in their power to help patients and residents maintain an optimal quality of life during their treatment or stay at Christian Health.

When a Longview resident at Christian Health was placed in hospice, she thought she’d be unable to attend her granddaughter’s out-of-state wedding. Because her family was nervous about transporting her and acquiring the necessary equipment, Longview nurses worked with hospice to help them make it a reality. The medications were ordered, the family was taught how to use them, a new portable oxygen concentrator was provided, and she was even scheduled a beauty parlor appointment. The resident and her family were thrilled that she was able to experience the big day with her family.

What is the Patient and Family Advisory Council?

The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at Christian Health is a committee made up of former patients of Christian Health and their families. Each Christian Health program and residence is represented on the council. PFAC members provide important input regarding their individual experiences to help shape our policies, programs, facility design, and day-to-day interactions between team members and those in their care.

PFAC members improve care by sharing their stories, providing feedback, participating in discussion groups, reviewing or helping create educational or informational materials, and working on short-term projects. “We are thankful for [PFAC members’] experience and knowledge of our standards of care and for their insight on highlights and opportunities that took place during their or their loved one’s stay here,” said Ms. Ross.

Some significant projects and resources PFAC has helped develop at Christian Health include the following.

  • Navigator Welcome Guide: This helpful and informative resource provides those in our care and their families with detailed information about Christian Health, from a thorough description of our mission, our available care services, important contact information, and patient and resident rights and responsibilities.
  • Aging Brain Brochure: This brochure is used as a tool to assist in guiding a conversation with those affected by dementia. It can aid in pinpointing behaviors on more than one level, recognizing if there has been a recent shift in behavior, identifying skills and abilities that still remain, and driving care planning by focusing on the individual’s strengths. “It shifts the thought process from what has been lost to what still remains and how these strengths can impact meaningful relationships between loved ones,” said Ms. Ross.