Patient and Family Advisory Councils
Effective October 1, 2010, all acute, chronic, and long term care hospitals in Massachusetts are required to establish a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The purpose of these Councils is for patient and family members to advise the hospital on matters including, but not limited to, patient and provider relationships, institutional review boards, quality improvement initiatives, and patient education on safety and quality matters to the extent allowed by state and federal law.
Patient and Family Advisory Councils serve as the "patient voice" and the institutional infrastructure for including the patient and family member perspective in hospital organizational decision-making. Councils are typically comprised of patients, family members, executive leadership, and staff, working in partnership to assure the delivery of the highest standard of comprehensive and compassionate care is delivered at each hospital. All acute, chronic, and long term care hospitals are required to produce an Annual Report for the establishment and accomplishments of a Council. The Annual Report must be made available to the hospitals governing body. To support hospitals in developing the Annual Report, a template was created by the MA Coalition and reviewed by the MA DPH. While it is not a requirement to use this template, it is provided for hospital ease and incorporates the items minimally required in the Report. The Annual Report should be made available to patients, families, staff, general public and/or the DPH upon request. The Annual Report Template is available to download (Microsoft Word Document). Information about programs supporting hospitals to meet these requirements is available here.