After having 12 orthopedic surgeries at various local hospitals, you could say that Michael Spooner, Senior Director of Online Healthcare Education & Academic Innovation at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is an experienced patient. When he landed at New England Baptist Hospital for surgery in 2004, the difference between NEBH and other hospitals was clear.
“All of a sudden I started to realize there is a huge difference in how care is provided at each institution. The rose I got after having surgery at NEBH came into focus, what that was about and what it stood for.”
Having seen information about the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) on the NEBH website, Michael was intrigued. The PFAC at NEBH is comprised of a diverse group of patients, family members, representatives from the community, and NEBH employees. Together, the council works to use the perspective of patients and their families to improve the quality, safety, and experience of care.
“As a student of education and in particular focusing on healthcare in education, I know that the voice of the patient is incredibly important. If we don’t know what the voice of the patient is, or what the patient is experiencing, it is really hard to provide the highest level of care. It became important to me to give that level of feedback and be the voice, if I could.”
Michael has now been on the PFAC for several years, and has worked on a number of initiatives.
“One of the projects I’ve enjoyed working on with the PFAC is a booklet that is given to patients during their overnight stay. It was great to have the ability to have some influence in what it means to be a patient, what that stay is like, and what information I thought is important for patients to have.”
“Being on the PFAC is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s not just going to a meeting on a monthly basis, it’s really having the opportunity to represent the voice of the patient, bring forward what’s important to you as an individual because if it’s important to you as a patient, chances are it’s important to somebody else. I think that the future of healthcare requires the voice of the patient. Thankfully, NEBH is very willing to listen and accepts and values the feedback that we provide.”
For more information on the PFAC, and to learn how you can participate, please contact Jane Berger, Patient Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-754-5147.