Published on April 3, 2019
Phelps Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) plays an important role in improving the patient experience throughout this healthcare system.
By serving on this committee, community members who have been a patient or a family member of a patient at Phelps Health offer guidance on many topics related to the experiences of patients, families and visitors at Phelps Health.
“The Patient and Family Advisory Council is a valuable group,” said Phelps Health Administrative Director of Ancillary Services Shawn Hodges, who serves as the PFAC chair. “The committee offers a perspective that we may not have seen or thought of as staff. They have given us a lot of honest feedback.”
Because council members have been patients or relatives of patients who received care at Phelps Health, they bring valuable insights, suggestions and experiences to the table.
Zelda Shelton, a committee member, said that since she works with area seniors, she has been able to provide input from the local senior population on Phelps Health initiatives.
Another PFAC member, Cyndra Lorey, said she has been pleased with the care she has received previously from Phelps Health. “I wanted to be part of this group to have a say on making things even better,” Lorey said.
Up to eight members of the public can serve on the council, which currently consists of residents from Phelps County and surrounding communities. Having people from different backgrounds and age groups who live throughout Phelps Health’s six-county service area allows a wide variety of perspectives and input to be shared.
“Members of the Patient and Family Advisory Council have a voice in their hospital and clinics,” said Phelps Health Director of Patient Access Layla Earl, who is the PFAC co-chair.
The committee formed in the summer of 2017, and since then, the council’s suggestions have led to changes in the Phelps Health Contact Center. The committee also was asked for input on patients’ views of rebranding efforts, waiting room areas and a new electronic medical records system.
Committee members also are working on a project with Arts Rolla to display different art exhibits at Phelps Health.
The committee’s initial members were asked to serve for a year, and many of them have continued serving for another year, but their terms will soon expire. Phelps Health staff is seeking new members to begin serving this summer.
People chosen to serve on the PFAC are invited to offer advice that could potentially influence future hospital plans, which will focus on the healthcare experience for patients, families and guests.
Applicants must be willing to serve on the council for at least one year and be available to attend meetings once a month, except in December. Meetings are held at the hospital and usually last about one and a half hours, with lunch provided.