PFCC now part of the new Office of Patient Experience

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What does change mean for PFCC advisors, peer mentors?

The Office of Patient Experience (OPE) was created in 2016 to coordinate and improve the patient experience across Michigan Medicine. The Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Program is one of two units who will be part of the OPE team, along with Service Excellence. The two combined units have over 19 staff members, plus our 900 patient and family member advisors and peer mentors.

Keith Gran is leading the new department as the organization’s Chief Patient Experience Officer. OPE team members will focus on four main priority areas — access, environment of care, courtesy and communication. The team’s work will continue to be done through partnerships with patients, families and staff members in all areas of the medical center.

“We work hard to provide patients and families with the care they need, at the time they need it, with respect and compassion for the patient and the family,” said Gran. “We are fortunate to have many patient and family advisors who help guide our work and ensure that we are focused on those areas that patients and families feel add the most value.”

Gran quote

Taking PFCC to a whole new level!

PFCC and Service Excellence teams collaborate on projects and share best practices to help units improve the quality, safety and experience of patients and their families. One area they will focus on is empathy-building skills and effective patient and family engagement.

“We know that engaging our staff and faculty to honor what matters most to patients and families is a key driver to improving the patient experience,” said Molly White, manager of adult services for PFCC and now the administrative director of OPE. “There is so much evidence about the value that patient- and family-centered care has on patient outcomes and we have enormous potential to take that to a new level here.”

Works in progress – PFACs, Access Improvement, Quiet Kits and More

In addition to drawing from its existing 16 Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs), OPE seeks to improve the patient experience through the creation of a new advisory group — made up of patients, families, physicians, departmental leaders and nurses — that will provide guidance to the OPE leadership team. The committee will help prioritize which initiatives to adopt and potential practices that could be improved in each of the four focus areas.

For example, in terms of access, many patients attest to the fact that getting a timely appointment with a U-M doctor can be a challenge. To ease such concerns, the OPE team is planning to implement access solutions within the Department of Internal Medicine, beginning with pulmonary and cardiology.

To improve the environment of care, OPE plans to make it easier for patients to navigate the complex academic medical center. To do so, the office is partnering with Volunteer Services to launch the Ambassador Program in August. After receiving training, volunteers will be strategically placed at medical center entrances to greet patients and families, guiding them to their appointment locations. Former PFCC Volunteer Coordinator, Shelly Fox, will be the new Ambassador Volunteer Coordinator.

Another example is the development of a quiet kit, which — in partnership with Environmental Services — will be delivered to each patient admitted into UH beginning this summer. Acknowledging that hospitals can often be noisy, but that rest is a priority, patient and family advisors helped design the contents and packaging.

Keith and Dr. Johnson
Keith Gran and Timothy Johnson, M.D., senior associate dean of clinical affairs (l-r).

If you have ideas on how to improve the patient experience or questions about the new PFCC structure, please email them to patient-experience@med.umich.edu or contact your PFCC Volunteer Coordinator.

Note: Article adapted from a Michigan Medicine Headlines piece.

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