PFCC Collaborative Conversations tackle way-finding and healthcare app

By Becky Mueller, PFCC Intern

This quarter, PFCC has been hosting a number of collaborative conversations regarding various health issues. Collaborative conversations are discussions on a wide range of health care topics led by the PFCC Program to gather information, opinions, and feelings from patients and family members. These conversation invitations are extended to our PFCC advisors and have been occurring almost monthly.

On May 26, the program had our biggest turn-out to date for a collaborative conversation – 21 advisors attended! The conversation was hosted by a recent graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and a Computer Science undergraduate student who want to create a mobile app that would aid in helping patients and caregivers communicate their complex healthcare information – specifically from physicians at bedside rounds to their families and loved ones back at home. The conversation was lively and, although the meeting was capped at 1.5 hours, it could have gone much longer!

Common wayfinding landmarks at UMHS - Big Bird and

Common way-finding landmarks at UMHS – Big Bird and “The Fork”

Another conversation was held to learn about the patient and family experience regarding way-finding in the hospital. Advisors were asked to help the UMHS way-finding team make navigating to a brand new unit easier. During this conversation, patients literally roamed the halls of UH and put themselves in the shoes of a new patient’s family member, trying to get to a new location.

With the help of patient and family advisors in this collaborative conversation, the way-finding team can make it that much easier for family members and friends to get to their loved ones in the future hidden hard-to-find location – the 4th floor of UH South, right by the PFCC offices.

An almost completed patient room in the new Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU)

An almost completed patient room in the new Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU)

Thank you to all of the advisors who participated in these collaborative conversations! Advisors, please continue checking your emails for more opportunities for collaborative conversations. They are typically held from 5:30-7 p.m. on a weeknight at the North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor.

If you would like to request a collaborative conversation hosted by the PFCC Program, please contact Melissa Cunningham at or 734-764-5299.


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